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" \ CORINTHIANS. .,^^^1- 




(Baccessorto Leavitt, Lord, A Go.) 



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Entbbsd according to Act of Congreen, in the year 1837, bj 

Albekt Bakmss, 

In the OfBee of the Clerk of the District Court of the Eastern District 

of Fennsylvania. 


& W. BBHBDicr, Printer 
19BFaltOD-8t.N. Y. 

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§ 1. Tl^ Siiuaium of Corinth, and the Character nfUe InhabitantB, 

CoBiirTH was pnq)erly a small dynasty, or territoTj in Greece, bounded oil 
the east by the gaff of Saron ; on the south by the kingdom of Aigos ; on (he 
west by Sicyon ; and on the north by the kingdom of Megaris, and upper part 
of the isthmus and bay of Corinth, die latter of which is now called the Grolfo 
de Lepanto, or the gulf of Lepanto. This tract, or region, not large in size, poa- 
aessed a few rich plains, but was in general uneven, and the soil of an indif 
ferent quality. The city of Corinth was the capital of this region. It stood near 
tKe middle of the isthmus, which in the narrowest part was about six miles 
wide, though somewhat wider where Corinth stood. Hers was the natural 
carrying place, or portage from the Ionian sea on the west, to the J5gean on 
the east. Many efforts were made by the Greeks, and afterwards by the Ro- 
mans, to efifect a communication between the iS|gean and Adriatic seas by cut- 
tmg across this isthmus ; and traces still remain of these attempts. Means 
were even contrived for transporting vessels across. This isthmus was also par- 
ticularly important as it was the key of the Peloponnesus, and attempts were 
often made to fortify it The city had two harbours, — Lechieum on the gulf of 
Corinth, or sea of Crissa on the west, to which it was joined by a double wall, 
twelve stadia, or about a mile and a half in length ; and Cenchrea on the aea 
of Saron on the east, distant about seventy stadia, or nearly nine miles. It was 
a sitaation therefore peculiarly favourable for commerce, and highly important In 
the defence of Greece. 

The city is said to have been founded by Sisyphus, long before the siege of 
Troy, and was then called Ephyra. The time when it was founded is, however, 
unknown. The name Corinth, was supposed to have been given to it from 
Corinthus, who, by different authors, is said to have been the son of Jupiter, or 
of Marathon, or of Pelops, who is said to have rebuilt and adorned the city. 

The city of Corinth was built at the foot of a high hill, on the top of whii^'h 
stood a citadel. This hill, which stood on the south of the city, was its defeni« 
in that quarter, as its sides were extremely steep. On the three other sides it 
was protected by strong and lofty ramparts. The circumference of the city 
proper was about forty stadia, or five mUes. Its sitaation gave it great com* 
mercial advantages. As the whole of that region was moontainous and rather 
barren, and as tiie situation gave the city extraordinary commercial advantages, 
the inhabitants early turned their attention to commerce, and amassed great 
wealth. This fiict was, to no inconsiderable extent, the foundation of the 
luxury, efieminacy, and vices for which the city afterwards became so much 

The merchandise of Italy, Sicily, and the western nationa, was landed at Lech- 
sum on the west ; and that of the islands of the ^gean sea, of Asia Minor, and 
of the Phoenicians, and other oriental nations, at Cenchrea on the east The city 
<tf Corinth thus became the mart of Asia and Europe ; covered the sea wttii its 
ships, and formed a navy to protect its commerce.* It was distinguished by boSki- 



ing galleys and ships of a new and improTed form ; and its naval force procnMcf 
it respect irom other nations. Its population and its wealth was thus increased 
by the influx of faftoigners. It became a city rather distinguished by its wealthy 
and naval force, and commerce, than by its military achievements, though it 
produced a few of the most vatiaat and distinguished leaders in the armies of 

Its population was increased and its character somewhat formed from another 
circumstance. In the neighbourhood of the dty the Jeihmian games were cele 
brated, which attracted so much attention, and which drew so mauy strangers 
from distant parts of the world. To those games, the apostle Paul not infre- 
quently refers, when recommending Christian energy and activity. See note, 
1 Cor. ix. 24. 26, 27. Comp. Heb. xii. 1. 

From these causes, the city of Corinth became eminent among all ancient 
cities for wealth, afid luxury, and dissipation. It was the mart of the world. 
Wealth flowed into it from all quarters. Luxury, amusement, and dissipation, 
were the natural consequents, until it became the most gay and dissolute city of 
its times, — tlie Paris of antiquity* 

There was another cause which contributed te its character of dissoluteness 
and corruption. I refer to its religion. The principal deity worshipped in the 
city was Venus; as Diana was the principal deity worshipped at Ephesus; 
Minerva at Athens, &c. Ancient cities were devoted usually to some particular 
god or goddess, and were supposed to be under theirjpeculiar protection. See 
note. Acts xiv. 13. Corinth was devoted, or dedicated thus to the goddess of 
love, or licentious passion ; and the effect may be easily conceived. The temple 
of Venus was erected on the north side or slope of tlie Acrocorinthus, a moun- 
tain about half a mile in height on the south of the city, and from the summit of 
which a magnificent prospect opened on the north to Pamaisus and Helicon* 
to the eastward the island of iGgina and the citadel of Athens, and to Uie west 
the rich and beautiful plains of Sicyon. This mountain was covered with 
temples and splendid houses; but was especially devoted to Venus, and was the 
|dace of her worship. Her shrine appeared above those of the other gods ; and 
it was eigoined by law, that one thousand beautiful females sheold oflliciate ae 
courtesans, or public prostitutes, before the altar of the goddess of love. In a 
time of public calamity and imminent danger, these women attended at the 
saciifioes, and walked with the other citizens singing sacred hymns. When 
Xerxes invaded Greece, recourse was had to their interces^n to avert the im* 
pending calamity. They were supported chiefly by foreigners ; and from th« 
avails of their vice a copious revenue was derived to the dty. Individuals* 
in order to ensure success in their undertakings, vowed to present to Venus a 
certain number of courtesans, which they obtained by sending to distant coun- 
tries. Foreign merchants were attracted in this way to Corinth ; and in a few 
days would be stripped of all their property. It thus became a proverb, *'It is 
not for every one to go to Corinth," — (e» vArrU iv^it «c K^»3w wth e ff^sof.) 
The effect of this on the morals of the city can be easily understood. It becatne 
the most gay, dissipated, corrupt, and ultimately the most effeminate and feeble 
portion of Greece. It is necessary to make these statements because they go to 
show the exceeding grace of God in collecting a church in such- a dty, the 
power of the gospel in overcoming the strongest and most polluted passions of 
our nature ; and because no small part of the irregularities which arose in tha 
church at Corinth, and which gave the apostle occasion to write this epistle, 
were produced by this prevailing licentiousness of the people ; and by the foct^ 
thai gross and licentious passbns had reedved the countenance of law and 
the patronage of public opinion. See ch. ▼. viL See article Laia in the Biogra- 
llbical Dictionaries. 




Though Coiihth was thus dissipated and licentious in its character, yet it 
was also distinguished for its refinement and learning. Everf part of literature 
was cultivated there, so that before its destruction by the Romans, Cicero (pro 
lege Man. cap. v.) sorupled not to call it totius Grscs lumen — ^the light of all 

Corinth was, of course, exposed to all the changes anddisasters which occurred 
to the other cities of Greece. After a variety of revolutions in its government^ 
which it is not necessary here to repeat, it was taken by the Roman consul L. 
Mummius, 147 years before Christ The riches which were found in the city were 
immense. During the conflagration, it is said that all the metals which were 
there were melted and run together, and formed that valuable compound which 
Was so much celebrated as Corinthian brass. Others, however, with more wo- 
bability, say that the Corinthian artists were accustomed to form a metal, oy a 
mixture of brass with small quantities of gold and silver, which was so brilliant 
as to cause the extraordinary estimate in which this metal was held. Corinth, 
however, was again rebuilt. In the time of Julius Cesar, it was colonized by his 
(fitdsTy and soon again resumed something of its former magnificence. By the 
Romans the whole of Greece was divided into two provinces, Macedonia and 
Achaia.- Df the latter, Corinth was the capital ; and this was its condition 
when it was vi^ted by Paul. With its ancient splendour, it also soon relapsed 
into its former dissipation and licentiousness ; and when Paul visited it, it was 
perhaps as dissolute as at any former period of its history. The subsequent his- 
tory of Corinth it is not necessary to trace. On the division of the Roman em- 
pire, it fell, of course, to the eastern empire, and when this was overthrown by 
the Turks, it came into their hands, and it remained under their dominion until 
the recent revolution in Greece. It still retains its ancient name; but with 
nothing of its ancient grandeur. A single temple, itself dismantled, it is said, is 
all that remains, except the ruins, to mark the site of one of the most splendid 
cities of antiquity. For the authorities for these statements, see Travels of 
Anacharsis, vol. iii. pp. 369 — 388 ; Edin. Ency. art Corinth ; Lempxidre's Cla»> 
ocal Dictionary, and Bayle's Dictionary, art Corinth. 

§ 2. The EstabUahmmt of the Church, at Corinth. 

The' apostle Paul first visited Corinth about A. D. 62. (Lardner.) See Acts 
xviii. 1. He was then on his way from Macedonia to Jerusalem. He had 
passed some time at Athens, where he had preached the gospel, but not with 
such success as to warrant him to remain, or to organize a church. Bee Notes on 
Acts xvii. He was alone at Athens, having expected to have been joined there 
by Silas and Timothy, but in that he was disappointed. Acts xvii. 15. Comp. 
zviii. 5. He came to Corinth alone, but found Aquita and Priscilla there who 
had lately come from Rome, and with them he waited the anival of Silaa and 
Timothy. When they arrived, Paol entered on the great work of preaching the 
gospel in that splendid and dissipated dty, first to the Jews, and when it was 
rejected by them, then to the Greeks. Acts xviii. 5, 6. His feelings when he 
engaged in this work, he has himself stated in 1 Cor. xvi. 2 — 5. (See note on thai 
place.) His embarrassments and discouragements were met by a gracious pro- 
mise of the Lord that he would be with him, and would not leave him ; and that 
it was his purpose to collect a church there. See Note on Acts xviii. 9, 10. hk 
the city, Paul remained eighteen months, (Acts xviii. 11,) preaching without mo- 
lestation, until he was opposed by the Jews under Sosthenes their leader, and 
brought before Gallio. When Gallio refused to hear the cause, and Paul was 
dischaiged, it is said, that he remained there yet '' a good while," (Acts xviii 
18,) imd then sailed into Syiia. 



Of the size of the church that was fint organized there, and of &e genersl 
character of the cofivertfl^ we have no other Imowledge than that which is con* 
tained in the epistle. There is reason to' think that Sosthenes, who was the prin- 
cipal agent of the Jews in arraigning Paul before Gallio, was converted, (see 
1 Coi^ L If) and perhaps some other persons of distinction; but it is evident that 
the church was chiefly composed of those who were in the mora humUe walks 
of life. See Notes on 1 Con L 26^29. It was a signal illustr&tion of the grace of 
God, and the power of the gospel, that a church was organized in that city of 
gayety, fitshion, luxuiy, and licentiousness; and it shows that the gospel it 
adapted to meet and overcome«dl forms of wickedness, and to subdue all classes of 
people to itsel£ If a church was established in th» g^y and dissolute capital of 
Achaia, then there is net now a city on earth so gay and so profligate that th» 
same gospel may not 4neet its corruptions, and subdue it to the cross of Ch/ist. 
Paul subsequently visked'Corinth about A. D. 58, or six years'after the establishp 
ment of the church there. He passed the winter in Greece— doubtless in Corinth 
and its neigbbourhood, on his journey from Macedonia to Jerusalem, the fiftii 
time in which he visited the latter ci(y. >During this stay at Corinth, he wrote 
4he epistle to the Romans. See the latroductioa to the -Epbtle to the Romaaa. 

(^ ^ The Time and Thee of WrUing the First Epistle to the<!orinthians. 

It has been uniformly supposed that this epistle was written at'Bphesns. The 
<»rcum8tanoes which are mentioned incidentally in the epistle itself place thk 
beyond a doubt The epistle purports to haVe been written, not like diat to tha 
Romans, without having been at the place to which it was written, but after 
•Paul had been at Corinth. ** I, brethren, when 'i came unto you, came not with 
excellency of speech," ^^cc oh. ii. 1. It also^purperts to have been written when 
he was about to make another visit to that church. Ch. iv. 19, << But I wiH 
eome to you shortly, if the Lord will." Ch. xvi. 6, <* Now I will come to yoa 
when I pass through Macedonia, for I do pass through Macedonia." Now the 
history in the Acts of the Apostles informs us, that Paul did in fiict visit Achaia^ 
«nd doubtless 'Gorinth twice. See Acts xviiL 1, dec and xx. 1 — 3. The same 
histoiy also infermtf us that it was from E^hesus that Paul went into Greece ; and 
•8 the epistle pdrpotts to hwe been written a short time'htfore that journey, it 
fellows, to be consistent with the history, (hat the epistle must have been 
written while he was at Sphesus. The narrative in the Acts -also informs us, 
that'Panl had passed two yearv in Ephesus before^he set eat on his second jonmay 
^o Greece. 

With this impposition, all the drcumstaaces relating to &e place where thtt 
«po8tle then was which on mentioned in this epistle agree. ^* If after the man- 
ner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, iflhe 
-dead rise not 1" ch. xv. 33. It is true, as Dr. Paley remaiks, (Horse PauUnso,) 
that tfae<i4KMtle might say this wherever he was ; but it was muisk more naturaly 
and much more' to the purpose to say it, If he was at Epheans at the time, and 
in the midst of those conlicts to which -the expression relates. **The churcfaea 
of Asia salute yeu," «h. xvi. T9. It is ^dent from 'this, that Paul was near 
those churches, antd thftt he had hMercourse with them. But Aaia, throughout 
the Acts of the Apostles, and in the epistles of Paul, does not mean commonly 
the whole of Asia, nor the whole Of A^sia Minor, hut a district in the Interior of 
Asia Bifinor, of which Ephesus was the capital. See Note, Acts iL 9, also Acts 
yiL 9, xvi 6, xx. 16. ** AquiU and Priscilla salute you," ch. xvL 19. A<|uiia 
«nd Priscilla were at Ephesus during the time in whidi I shall endeavour to show 
this epistle was written. Acts xviii. 36. It is evident, if this were so, that the 
«l8Matlewaawatten«t]5phesas. <^ButI will tarry. at J^pheeoa until PeBteooi^^ 

* 'HvmoDvcnoK. tu 

di. xvi 1^ TbiU^B vlmoBt an express declaration that he was <t ISphMOswhen 
the epistle was written. '* A great and e&ctual door is opened to me, and then 
are many adveisaries,'' ch. zvi. 9. How well this agrees with the bistoqrt may 
be seen by comparing it with the account in Acts, when Paul was at Ephesua. 
A«t8 zix. 20, " So mightily grew the word of Qod and prevailed." That there 
were ** many adversaries," may be seen fi»m the acoonnt of the same period in 
Acts xix. 9, *^ But when divera were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil 
of that way before the multitode, he departed from them, and separated the dis* 
ciples." Comp. Acts xix. 23 — 11. From these circumstances, it is pat beyond 
<x>ntroversy, that the epistle was written from J^pbesus. These circumstantial, 
and undesigned coincidences, between a letter written by Paul and an mdepeo* 
4eBt history by Luke, is one of those strong evidences so common in genuine 
'wntings, whioh go to show that neithervis a forgery. An impostor in forging a 
history like that of the Acts, and then writing an epistle, wooJdnot have thought 
off these coincidences, or introduced them in the mattner'in which they occur 
Ikere. Itis perfectly manifest that4he notes of the time, and place, and dream* 
stances in the history, and in. the epistle, were not introduced to conespend with 
each other, but have every appeaiance of genuineness and truth. See Paley's 
Hore Paulias, on this epistle. 

The curcumstances which have been referred to in reganlto the/vlase n^iere 
this epistle was written, serve also to fix the date of its composition. It is ovi- 
^eilt, from ch. xvi. 8, that Paul purposed to tarry Mi Ephesua until Penteooet. 
But this must have lieen written and sent away before the riot which was raised 
4>y Dranetrius (Acts xix. 23 — 41), for immediately after that Paul left Ephesua 
4UBd went to Macedonia. Acts xx. 1, 2. The reason why Paul purposed to 
remain in Ephesus until Pentecost, was, the success which he had met with in 
^preaching the gospeL Ch. xvi. 9. But after the •riot excited by J)emetritt8, this 
hope was in a measure defeated, and he soon left the city. These circumstances 
serve to fix the time when this epistle was written to the interval wblick elapsed 
between what is recorded in Acts xix. 22 andd3. This occurred about A. D. 
"66 or 67, Pearson and MiH place the date in the year 67.; Xaidner, in the 
spang of the year 56. 

It has never been doubted that Paul was the author of this epialle. ft bears 
^lusiianie^ has inteinai evidence of^vingbeen writtsn by him, and is ascrihed 
•to him by the unanimous voice of antiquli^. Ithas been made a question, how* 
ever, whether this was the^r«^ letter whidi Paul wrote to them ; or whether he 
had previously written an epistle to them v^^iieh is now \oeL This inquirjr has 
been caused hf what Paul says in 1 Coc-v. 9, « I wrotoimto you in an eputle," 
'dee. Whether he there refers to another ejnstle, which he wrote to them before 
' this, and which they had disregarded ; or whether totfae previocH chapters of this 
episikle ; or whether to a letter to some other church whioh <hey had been expected 
ta rsad, baa been made a iqoestioB. This question will be considered in itke AOte 
■on that vene. 

^4. The Oeearion on which this EpMle waawritfen. 

It is evident that' this epi^de was' written in re^y to ene which had %eeii ad- 

• 'dressed by theehurdi at Corinth to Paul ; 1 Cor. vii.:l, «:Now eeneemuig the 

' things whereof ye wrote unto me,*' dec That letterhad been sent to Paul while 

at Ephesus by ib» hands of Stephanas, and Fortunatss, and 'Achaicus, vdM> had 

< oome to consult with him respecting the state of the church stOorinth. 1 Con 

xvi* 17, 18* In addition to this, Paul had heard various reports <tf certain diaor- 

dsvs which bed been introduced into the church at Cerinth, and which required 

hit tiltiHrtim and eotnttititfMi. Xhoee-diM)iriMs*iteaaBMa«aasHiejMlualy<hadiipt 

. -^ 


been mentimied in the letter which they tent to him, but he had heard of 
them incidentally by some members of the fiunily of ChlOe. 1 Cor. i. 11. They 
pertained to the following sabjecta. (1.) The divisions which had arisen in the 
church by the popularity of a teacher who had excited great disturbance. (1 
Cor. L 12, 13.) Probably this teacher was a Jew by birth, and not improbably 
of the sect of the Sadducees (2 Cor. xi. 22), and his teaching might have been 
the occasion why in the epistle Paul entered so largely into the proof of the doctrine 
of the resurrection from the dead. 1 Cor. xv« (2.) The Corinthians, like all 
other Greeks, were greatly in danger of being deluded, and carried away by a 
subtle philosophy, and by a dazzling eloquence, and it is not improbable that the 
false tc«cher there had taken advantage of this, and made it the occasion of ex- 
citing parties, and of creating a prejudice against Paul, and of undervaluing hie 
authority because he had made no pretensions to these endowments. It was of 
importance, therefore, for Paul to show the true nature and value of their phi- 
losophy, ai^d the spirit which should prevail in receiving the gospeL Ch. 1 18-* 
31. ii. iiL (3.) Paul's authority had been called in question as an apostle, and 
not improbably by the false teacher, or teachers, that had caused the parties 
which had been originated there. It became necessary, therefore, for him to vin- 
dicate his aiuhority, and show by what right he had acted in organizing the 
church, and m the directions which he had given for its discipline and purity. 
Ch. iv. ix. (4.) A case of incest had occurred in the church which had not 
been made the subject of discipline. Ch. v. This case was a flagrant violation 
of the gospel ; and yet it is not improbable that it had been palliated, or vindi- 
cated by the fidse teachers ; and it is certain that it excited no shame in the 
church itself Such cases were not regarded by the dissolute Corinthians as 
criminal.^ In a city dedicated to Venus, the crimes of licentiousness had been 
openly indulged, and this was one of the sins to which they were particularly 
exposed. It became necessary,, therefore, for Paul to exert his apostolic autho* 
rity, and to remove the offender in this case from the communion of the church, 
and to make him an example of the severity of Christian discipline. (6.) The 
Corinthians had evinced a litigious spirit, a fondness for going to law, and for 
bringing their causes before heathen tribunals, to the great scandal of religion, in- 
stead of endeavouring to settle their difficulties among themselves. Of this the 
apostle had been informed, and this called also for his authoritative interposition, 
ch. vi. 1 — 8. (6.) Erroneous views and practices had arisen, perhaps, under the 
influence of the &Ise teachers, on the subject of temperance, chastity, dec To 
the vices of intemperance, Ucentiousness, and gluttony, the Corinthian Christians 
from their former habits, and from the customs of their countrymen, were par- 
ticularly exposed. Those vices had been judged harmless, and had been freely 
indulged in, and it is not improbable that the views of the apostle had been ridi- 
culed as unnecessarily stern, and severe, an^ rigid/ It became necessary, there- 
fore, to correct their views, and to stale the true nature of the Christian require- 
ments. Ch. VL 8 — ^20. (7.) The apostle having thus discussed those things 
of which he had incidentally heard, proceeds to notice particularly the things 
respecting which they had consulted him by letter. Those were, (a.) Marriage, 
and the duties in regard to it in their circumstances, ch. vii. (6.) The eating 
ef things offered to kbia, ch. viii. In order to enforce his views of what he had 
said on the duty of abstaining from the use of certain food, if it ivas the occasion 
of giving offienoe, he shows them (ch. ix.) thai it was the great principle on 
which he had acted in his ministry ; that he was not imposing on them any thing 
which he did not observe himself; that though he had full authority as an apostle 
to insist on a support in preaching, yet f<Nr the sake of peace, and the prosperity 
of the church, he had voluntarily relinquished his rights, and endeavoured by 
all means to save some. Ch. U. By this ezamploi he seeks to pe g suade them to 


ft cotRve of Hfe-fis fir aa possible from a life of gluttony » and fornication, and self- 
indulgence, and to assure them that although they had been highly fitvoured, afl 
the Jews had been also, yet like them, they might also fall, ch. x. 1 — 12. These 
principles he illustrstes bj a reference to their joining in feasts, and celebration* 
with idols, and the dangers to which they would subject themselves by so doing; 
and concludes that it would be proper in those circumstances wholly to abstain 
fiom partaking of the meat offered in sacrifice to idols if it were known to be 
such. This was to be done on the prindple that no offence was to be given. 
And thus the aeccnd question refen^ to hun was disposed ot, ch. x. 19—33. In 
connexion with this, and as an iUustration of the principle on which he acted, 
and on whidi he wishes them to act, that of promoting mutual edification, and 
avoiding ofibnce, he vefera (dh. zL) to two other subjects, the one, the proper 
rriation of the woman to the man, and the general duty of her being in subjec- 
tion te him, (di. xL 1 — 16 ;) and the other, a fiur more important matter, the 
jfbper mode of celebrating the Lord's supper, ch. xL 17 — 34. He had been led 
to speaK of this, probably, by the discussion to which he had been invited on the 
tfobject of ihemfiasts, and the discussion of tfuU subject naturally led to the con- 
sideration of the much more important subject of their mode of celebrating the 
Lord's supper. That had been greatly abused to purposes of riot, and disorder, 
and abuse, which had grown directly ont of their former views and habits in 
public festivals. Those views and habits they had transferred to the celebration 
of the eocharist. It became necessary, therefore, for the apostle ^to correct those 
views, to state the true design of the ordinance, to show the consequences of an 
improper mode of celebration, and to endeavour to refbrm them in their mode of 
observing it, ch. xL 17—34. (e.) Another subject which had probably been 
submitted to him in the letter was, the nature of spiritual gifts ; the design of 
the power of speaking with tongues, and the proper order to be observed in the 
dnnch on this subject These powers seem to have been im|>aTted to the Corinth* 
ians in a remarkable degree ; and like most other things had been abused to the 
promotion of strife, and amlntion ; to pride in their possesion, and to irregularity 
and disorder in their public assemUies. This whole subject the apostle discnsses^ 
(ch* xii. xiii xiv.) He states the design of imparting this gift ; the use which 
diould be made of it in- the church, the necessity of due subordination in all the 
members and officers ; and in a chapter unequalled in beauty in any language, 
(ch. xiiL) shows the inferiority of tiie highest of these endowments to a kind, 
catholic spirit — to the prevalence of charity, and thus endeavours to allaj all 
contentions and strifes fer ascendency, by &e prevalence of the spirit of lots. 
In connexion with this (ch. xiv.) he reproves the abuses which had arisen 
ta this subject, aa he had done on others, and seeks to repress all disorders- 
(8.) A very important -subject, the apostle reserved to the close of the epistle* 
the resurrection of the dead. (ch. xv.) Why he chose to discuss it in this place, 
is not known. It is quite pn^Mible that he had not been cansuUed on this sub- 
ject in the letter which had been sent to him.' It is evident, howevw, that erro- 
neous opinions had been entertained on the subject, and probably inculcated by 
die religions teachers at Corinth. The philosophic minds of the Greeks we 
know were much disposed to deride this doctrine (Acts xvii. 32), and in the 
Corinthian drarch it had been either called in question, or greatly perverted, 
ch* XV. 12. That the same body would be raised up had been denied, and 
tfie doctrine that came to be believed was, probably, simply that there would 
be a future state, and that the only resurrection was the resurrection of the soul 
fiom sin, and that this was pest Comp. 2 Tim. ii. 18. This subject the apostle 
had not before taken up, probably because he had not been consulted on it, and 
becanae it would find a more appropriate place (rfter he had reproved their dis- 
ordttis and anmaied their questioiuk After aB vioae diaetusions, alter axanun* 

X ivmoDvcnoN. 

ing all &e opiiiionB and pncticea that prevailed among them, it waa proper io 
place the great argument for the truth of the religion which they all professed 
an a permanent joundationf and to close the epistle by rentintung tnenif and 
proving to them that the religion which they professed, and which they had so 
much abused, was from heaven. The proof of this was the resurrection of the 
Saviour from the dead. It was indispensable to hold that in its obvious sense, 
and holding that, the truth of their own resurrection was demonstrated, and the 
error of those who denied it was apparent. (9.) Having finished this demon* 
•tration, the apostle closes the epistle (ch. xvL) with some miacellaneoua diieo- 
tiona and salutations. , 

§ 6. Divisions of the Epistle, 

Thi divisions of this epistle, as of the other books of the Bible, into chaptem 
and verses, is arbitrary, and often not happily made. See the Introduction to th0 
Notes on the Gospels. Various divisions of the epistle have been proposed in 
order to present a proper analysis to the mind. The division which is submitted 
here is one that arises from the previous statement of the scope and design of the 
epistle, and will furnish the basis of my analysis. According to this view, the 
body of this epistle may be divided into three parts, viz. — 

I. The discussion of irregularities aiid abuses prevailing in the church at 
Corinth, of which the apostle had incidentally learned by report, ch. 
i. — ^vi. 
n. The discussion of various Subjects which had been submitted to him in a 
letter from the church, and of points which grew out of those inqui- 
ries, ch. vii. — ^xiv, 
in. The discussion of the great doctrine of the resurrection of Christ — ^the 
foundation of the hope of man — and the demonstration arising from that 
that the Christian religion is true, and the hopes of Christiana well 
founded, ch. zv, (See the ** Analysis'' prefixed to the Notes.) 

^ 6. T%e Messengers by whom this Spistk was sent to the Church at Corinth, 

and its success. 

It is evident that Paul felt the deepest solicitude in regard to the state of 
things in the church at Corinth. Apparently as soon as he had heaid of their 
irregularities and disorders through the membera of the family of Chloe (ch. i. iL), 
he had sent Timothy to them, if possible, to repress the gprowing dissensions and 
irregularities. 1 Cor. iv. 17. In the mean time the chturch at Corinth wrote to 
him to ascertain his views on certain matters submitted to him (I Cor. viL 1), 
and the reception of this letter gave him occasion to enter at length into the 
anbject of their disorders and difficulties. Yet he wrote the letter under the 
deepest solicitude about the manner of its reception, and its efifect on the church, 
3 Cor. ii. 4, ** For out of much afiiiction and anguish of heart I wrote unto 
you with many tears," &c Paul had another object in view which was dear to 
his heart, and which he was labouring with all diligence to promote, which was 
the collection which he proposed to take up for the poor and afflicted saints at 
Jerusalem. See Notes, Rom. xv. 25, 26. This object he wished to press at this 
time on the church at Corinth. 1 Cor. xvL l'^4. In order, therefore, to ensura 
the success of his letter, and to facilitate the collection, he sent Titus with the 
letter to the church at Corinth, with instructions to have the collection ready. 
3 Cor. vii. 7, 8. 13. 15. This collection, Titus was requested to finish. 2 Cor, 
viuL 6. With Titus, Paul sent another brother, perhaps a member of the church 
«t Epheana (2 Cor. ziL 8), a man whose praise, Paul says, waa in «U tha 


ditirches, and who had been already designated by the churches to bear the con* 
tribution to Jerusalem. 2 Cor. viii. 18, 19. By taming to Acts xxi. 29, wt 
find it incidentally mentioned that " Tfopbimus an Ephesian" was with Paul 
in Jerusalem, and undoubtedly this was the person here designated. This is ono 
of the undesigned coincidences between Paul's epistle and the Acts of the Apostlei^ 
of which Dr. Paley has made so much u^ in his Horx PauUnsB in proving the 
genuineness of these writings. Paul did not deem it necessaiy^r prudent for 
him to go himself to Corinth, but chose to remain in £phesus." The* letter to 
Paul (1 Cor. vii. 1) had been brought to him by Stephanas, Fortunatus^ 
and Achaicus (1 Cor. xvi. 17), and it is probable that they accompanied Titus 
and the other brother with him who bore Paul's reply to their inquiries. 

The success of this letter was all that Paul could desire. It had the e£^t to 
repress their growing strifes, to restrain their disorders, to produce true repent- 
ance, and to remove the person who had been guilty of incest in the church. 
The whole church was deeply affected with his reproofs, and engaged in heartf 
zeal in the work of reform. 2 Cor. vii. 9 — 11. The authority of the apostle was 
recognised, and hiis epistle read with fear and trembling. 2 Cor. vii. 15. The 
act of discipline which he had required on the incestuous person was inflicted by 
the whole church. 2 Cor.ii. 6. The collection which he had desired (1 Cor. 
xvi. l-<~4), and in regard to which he had boasted of their liberality to others, 
and expressed the utmost confidence that it would be liberal (2 Cor. ix. 2, 3), 
was taken up agreeably to his wishes, and their disposition on the subject was 
such as to furnish the highest satisfaction to his mind. 2 Cor. vii. 13, 14. Of 
the success of his letter, however, and of their disposition to take up the collec- 
tion, Paul was not apprized until he had gone into Macedonia, where Titus came 
to him, and gave him information of the happy state of things in the church aft 
Corinth. 2 Cor. vii. 4 — 7. 13. Never was a letter more effectual than this vr2k% 
and never vas authority in discipline exercised ia a more happy and successful 

§ 7. General Character and Structure of the Epistle* 

The general style and character of this epistle is the same as in the other 
writings of Paul. See Introduction to the Epistle to the Romans. It evinces 
the same strong and manly style of argument and language, the same structure 
of sentences, the same rapidity of conception, the same overpowering force of 
language and thought, and the same characteristics of temper and spirit in the 
author. The main difference J)etween the style and manner of this epistle, and 
Ihe other epistles of Paul, arises from the scope and design of the argument In 
the epistle to the Romans, bis object led him to pursue a close and connected 
train of argumentation. In this, a large portion of the epistle is occupied with 
reproaf and it gives occasion for calling into view at once the authority of an 
apostle, and the spirit and manner in which reproof is to be administered. The 
reader q£ thb epistle cannot but be struck with the fact, that it was no part of 
Paul's character to show indulgence to sin ; that he had no design to flatter ; that 
he neither '* cloaked nor concealed transgression ;" that in the most open, firm, 
and manly manner possible, it was his purpose to rebuke them for their disop^ 
ders, and to repress their growing irregularities. At the same time, however, there 
is full opportuni^ for the display of tenderness, kindness, love, charity, and for 
Christian instruction — ^an opportuntty for pouring forth the deepest feelings of 
the human heart — an opportunity which Paul never, allowed to escape unim- 
proved. Amidst all the severity of reproof there is the love of finendship ; amidst 
the rebukes of an apostle, the entreaties and tears of a father. And we hers 
eoBtemplate Paul, not merely as the profound reasoner, not simply as a man of 

high inteUectiial endowments, but as evincing the feeliagi of the man, and the 
sympnthies of the Christian. 

Perhaps there is less difficulty in underatanding this epistle than the epistl« 
to the Romans. A few passages indeed have peiplexed all commentators, and 
are to this day not understood. See ch. v. 9 ; xi. 10 ; xv. 29. But the general 
pieaning of the epistle has been much less the subject of difference of interpreta- 
tion. The reasons have probably been the following. (1.) The suljects here 
are more numerous, and the discussions more brie£ There is, therefore^ 
less difficulty in following the author than where the discussion is protracted, 
and the manner of his reasoning more complicated. (2.) The subjects them* 
selves are far less abstruse and profound than those introduced into the epistle to 
the Romans. There is, therefore, less liability to misconc^tion. {3.J The epistle 
has never been made the sulject of theological war&re. No system of theology 
has been built on it, and no attempt made to .press it into the service of abstract 
dogmas. It is mostly of a practical character, and there has been, therefore, lest 
joom for contention in regard to its meaning. (4.) No false and unfounded 
theories of philosophy have been attached to this epistle, as have been to the epistle 
to the Romans. Its simple sens^, therefore, has been, more obvious, and no 
small part of the difficulties in the interpretation of that epistle jue wanting in 
this. (5.) The apostle's design has somewhat varied his style. There are fewer 
complicated sentences, and fewer parentheses, less that is abrupt and broken, and 
elliptical, less that is rapid, mighty, and overpowering in argument We see the 
point of a reproof at once, but we are often greatly embarrassed in a complicated 
argument. The xvth chapter, however, for closeness and strength of argumen- 
tation, for beauty of diction, for tenderness of pathos, and for comihanding and 
overpowering eloquence, is probably unsurpassed by %ny other par( of the writ- 
ings of Paul, and unequalled by any other composition. (6.) It may be added, 
that these is less in this epbtle that opposes the native ^feelings of the human heart, 
smd that humbles ftie pride of the human intellect, than in the epistle to the Ro- 
mans. One great difficulty in interpreting that epistle has been that the doo 
trines relate to those high subjects that rebuke the pride of man, demand pros- 
tration before his sovereign, require the submission of the understanding and the 
heart to God's high claims, and throw down every form of self>ri)g:hteou8ne6s. 
While substantially the same features will be found in all the writings of Paul, 
yet his purpose in this epistle led him less to dwell on those topics than in the 
epistle to the Romans. The result is, that the heart more readily acqaiesces in 
these doctrines and rcgproofe, and the general strain of this epistle ; and as the 
kfort of man has usually more agency in the interpretation of the Bible than the 
understanding, the obstacles in the way of a correct exposition of this epistle vm 
proportionably fewer than in the epistle to the Romans. 

The same spirit, however, which is requisite in understanding the epistle t» 
the Romans, is demanded here. In all Paul's epistles, as in all the Bible, a spirit 
of candour, humility, prayer, and industry is required. The knowledge of GKkI's 
truth b to be acquired only by toil, and candid investigation. The mind that is 
filled with prejudice is rarely enlightened. The proud, unhumbled spirit seldom 
receives benefit from reading the Bible, or any other book. He acquires the 
most complete, and the most profound knowledge of the doctrines of Paul, and 
of the Book of God in general, who comes to i^e work of interpretation with 
the most humble heart ; and the deepest sense of his dependence in the aid of 
that Spirit by whom originally the Bible was inspired. For " thejneek will Jm( 
tm^ m Judgment, and the mi^ek li^dll he teach hU wiy.'* Pa. xKf^SL 




AUL, called * to be an apos- 
tle of Jesus Christ through 

a B(Mn.l.l. 

1. P<ttd,eaUed to he an apostle. See 
Notes, Rom. i. 1. ^ Through the will 
of God. Not by human appdmtment, or 
ftuthority, but in accordance with the 
will of Gody and his command. That 
uill was made known to him by the 

^ ' special revelation granted to him at his 
converaion, and call to the apostleship. 
Acts ix. Wul often refers to the &ct 
that he hAd received a direct commission 
firom God, and that he did not act on his 
own authority. Comp. Gal. i. U, 12. 
I Cor. ix. 1—6. 2 Cor. xi. 22—33 ; xiL 
1 — 12. There was a special reason why 
he commenced this epistle by referring 
to the &ct that he was divinely called to 
the igpostleship. It arose fiom th^ fact 
that his apostolic authority had been 
called in question by the false teachers 
•t Corinth. That this was the ^aae is 
apparent from the general strain of the 
6pisUe, from some particular expressions 
(2 Cor. X. 8 — 10); and from the £ict that 
he is at so much pains throughout the two 
epistles to establish his divine commis- 
sion. ^ And Sosthenee, Sostfaenes is 
mentioned in Acts xviii. 1 7, as ^< the chief 
rales, of the synagog^ue " at Corinth. 
He is there said to have been beaten 
by the Greeks before the judgment seat 
of Gallio because he was a Jew, and be- 
cause he had joined with the other Jews 
in arraigning Paul, and had thus pro- 
duced disturbance in the city. See Note 
on this place. It is evident that at that 
time he was not a Cbristian.. When 

- be was converted, or why he left Corinth 

the will of God, and Sosthenea * 
otir brother, 
2 Unto the church of Gk>d 

and was now with Paul at Ephesus, If 
unknown. Why Paul associated hun 
with himself in vmting this epistle is 
not known. It is evident that Sosthenes 
was not an apostle, nor is thoie any 
reason to think that he was inspiredL 
Some circumstances are known to bftvf» 
existed respecting Paul's manner of 
writing to Uie churches, which may ex- 
plain it. (1.) He was accustomed to 
employ an amanuensis or scribe in wri- 
ting his epistles, and the amanuensis 
frequently expressed his concurrence oc 
approbation in what the apostle had io* 
dieted. See Note, Rom. xvi. 22. Compu 
CoL iv. 18. « The talutation by the 
hand of Paul," 2Thei^. iu. 17. 1 Cor. 
xvi 21. It is possible that Sosthenes 
might have been employed by Paul for 
this purpose. (2.) Paul not unfrequen^ 
ly associated others with himself in wr^ 
ting his letters to the churches, himself 
claiming authority as an apostle ; an4 
the others expressing their concurrence. 
2 Cor. L 1. Thus in Gal^ L 1, " all 
the brethren" which were with him^ 
are mentioned as united with hini ia 
addressing the churches of Galatia. PhiL 
L 1. Col. i 1. 1 Thess. i. 1. (3.) Son- 
thenes was well known at Corinth. He 
had been the chief ruler of the syn»> 
gogue there. His conversion woul<]^ 
Uierefore, excite a deep interest, and i^ 
is not improbable that he had been con^ 
spicioua as s preacher. All these cv^ 
cumstances would render it proper that 
Paul should associate him with himself 
in writing this letter. It would be biing" 



[A. D. 59. 

which is at' Corinth, * to them * 
that are sanctified ' in Christ 
lesus, called ' to be saints, with 

aActfll8.1. ftJiKlel. 
1.9. IPeL 1 J& 

cJohnl7.19. diKTim. 

ing in the teBtimony of one well known 
M concuning with the Yiews of the 
spoitle, ami tend nmoh to eoodliato 
thoee who were disaffected towaids him* 
d. Vhto the chwth of God which ia 
ai Corinth, For an account of the time 
and manner in which the church was 
w tabl ifl h e d in Corinth, see the Intro- 
duction, and Notes on Acts xviiL 1 — 
17. Tlie church is cdled ** the church 
ti Gtodf** because it has been founded by 
ys agency, and was devoted to his sep- 
vioe. It is worthy of remark, that al- 
Aeugh great dtsordera had been intro- 
duced into that church; though there 
were sepanUions «id erroneous doc- 
trines; though there were some who 
gave evidence that they were not sin- 
eere Christians, yet the aposUe had no 
hesitation in appljring to them the name 
«f a church d God. % To them that 
tfre eanetified. To those who are 
made holy. This does not refer to the 
profession of holiness, but implies that 
Aey were in fact holy. The word 
means that they were separated firom 
tfie mass of heathens around than, and 
devoteg to God and his cause. Though 
&e word used here (nyteto'/Aifote) has 
iioB idea of separation from the mass 
around them, yet it is separation on »> 
count of their b^ng in fact and not in 
profesnon merely, difi^nt from others, 
and truly devoted to God. See Note, 
Bom. i. 7. t In Christ Jesus. That 
is, 6y (b) the agency of Christ It 
was by his authority, his power, and his 
spirit, that they had been separated from 
&o mass of heathens around them, and 
devoted to God. Comp. J<^n z«iL 19. 
t Called 'to be saints. The word 
saints does not diffsr anteriaQy from 
the word sanctified in the former part 
«f the verse. & means those wbo%^ 
stparated firom tl>e world, and set apart 
to God MT holy. The idea which Paul 
iMiMiuees here i% that Aey became 

all that in every place call ' upon 
the name of Jesus Christ our 
Lord, both theirs and ours : 

e 2Tlin.2.22. 

such because they were called to be 
such. The idea in the former part of 
the verse is, fliat this was done «by 
Christ Jesua;" here-he aaye thai itWM 
because they wtrae eaUed to this priii- 
lege. He doubtless means to say that 
it was not by any native tendency in 
themselves to holiness, but because 
God had called them to it And this call- 
ing does not refer merely to an external 
invitation, but it was that whidi^ was 
made effectual in their case, or that 
on which the feet of their being sunt* 
could be predicated. Comp. ver. 9. See 
STim.L9. « Who hath saved us^ and 
called us with an holy calling, not ac- 
cording to our works, but aoccsding to 
his own purpose and grace," dsc 1 
Pet i. 15. Note, Rom. L 6, 7; viiL 99, 
Eph. iv. 1. 1 Tim. vL 12. 1 Pet iL 9« 
Y With aUj dec This expression show* 
(1.) That Paul had the same feeUngs of 
attachment to all Christians in eveiy 
place; and (2.) That he expected ti^ 
this epistle would be read, not only by 
the church «t Corinth, but also by other 
churches. That this was the uniform 
intention of the apostle in regard to 
his epistles, is apparent from other 
places. Comp. 1 Thess. v. 27. «I 
charge you by the Lord that this epistle 
be read unto all the holy brethren.** 
Col. iv. 16. « And when this epistte 
is read unong you, cause that it be read 
also in the chureh of the Laodiceans.** 
It is evident that Paul expected that hk 
epistles would obtun circulation among 
the churches ; and it was morally cer- 
tain that they would besocm transcribed, 
and be extensively read. — ^The ardent 
fedings of Paul embraced all Christians 
in every nation. He knew nothing of 
the nanowness of exclusive attachment 
to sect. His heart was full of love, and 
he loved, as we should, all who bore the 
Christian name, and who evinced the 
Chiiittaii spirit t CaU upon tUm 


A.D. 59.] 



3 Grace * be ;Qsto you, and 
peace from God our Father, 
mad from the Lord Jesus Christ. 

4 1 thank * my God always 

alPet.1.2. 6Rom.l.8. • 

name of Jesus Christ, To caH upon 
ths name of any person, in Scripture 
language, is to call on the person him- 
self. Gomp. John iii. 18. Note, Acts iv. 
12. The expression < to caM upon the 
name' (vruxxm/tAims), to invoke the 
name, implies worship, and prayer; and 
proves, (1.) That the Lord Jesus is an 
otject of worship; and (2.) That dhe 
diaracteristic of die early Christians, by 
which they were known and distin- 
linguished, was their calling upon the 
name of the Lord Jesus, or their offering 
^forship to him. That it implies wor- 
ship, see Note on Acts vii. 69 ; and that 
file early Christians called on Christ by 
prayer, and were distinguished by that, 
see the Note xm Acts viL 59, and com- 
pare Note, Acts i. 24, also Acts ii. 21 ; 
k. 13; wi. 16. 2 Tim. ii. 22. f Both 
theirs and ours. The Lord of all — both 
Jews and Gentiles — cX all who pro- 
fess meninelves Christians, of wiiatever 
country or name they might have origin 
nally been. Difference of nation or 
^irth gives no pre-eminence in the 
kingdom of Christ, but all are on a 
level, having a common Lord and 
Saviour. Comp. Eph. iv. 5. 

9. €fraeebeuntoyou,Scc See Note, 
Rom. i. 7. 

4. I thank my (rod, &c.^' No small 
part of this epistle is occupied with 
nproofe for the disorders which had 
arisen in the church at Corinth. Before 
proceeding, however, to the specific 
statement of those disorders (ver. 10, 
seq.\ the. apostle commends them for the 
attainments which they had really made 
in divine knowledge, and thus shows 
that he was disposed to concede to them 
an that he could. It was no part of the 
disposition of Paul to withhold com- 
mendation where it was due. On the 
eontraiy , as he was disposed to be feidi- 
M hi reproving the errors of Christians, 
bs was no less disposed to commend 

on your behalf, for the fraoe of 
God which is given you by ^esui 
Christ ; 
6 That in erery thing ye «re 

them when it could be done. Cora]K 
Note, Rom. i. 8. A willingness l» 
commend those who do'well is as nnieh 
in accordance with the gospel, as a dis* 
position to reprove where it is deserved t 
and a minister, or a parent, may frs» 
qu^tly do as decided good by judidovs 
commendation as by reproof and mudi 
more than by fanlt-finding and hanh 
crimination. ^ On your hehalf, Ja 
respect to yon ; that God has oonfeired 
these &vour8 on yon. f For the grace 
of God, On account of the &voun 
which God has bestowed on yon throng 
the Lord Jesus. Those favours' ait 
specified in the following verses. For 
the meaning of the word graee, set 
Note, Rom. i. 7. 

6. TTutt in evety thing. In eveiy 
respect, or in regard to all the fitvoum 
conferred on any of his people. Yon 
have been distinguished by him in all 
those respects in wKicih he blesses his 
own children, t Ye are enriched by 
him, Comp. Note, Rom. ii. 4. The 
meaning of this expression is, <yott 
abound in these things ; they are con- 
ferred abundantly upon you.' By the nss 
of this word, the apostle intends donb^ 
less to denote the fact that these Ueas- 
ings had been conferred on them abui> 
dandy ; and also that lliis was a vaha 
ble endoumerUy so as to be properly 
called a treasure. The merdes of God 
are not only conferred abundantly on his 
people, but they are a bestowment ai 
inestimable value. Comp. 2 Cor. vi. 
10. ^In aU utterance. With tht 
power of speaking various languages 
(cir vcunt xo><p). That this power was 
conferred on the church at Corinth, and 
that it was highly valued by them, is 
evident firom ch. xiv. Comp. 2 Cor. 
viii. 7. The power of speakmg tiioss 
languages the apostle regarded m m 
subject" of thanksgiving, as it was n 
proof of the divine favour to thttn. Set 




enridhed by him, in all utterance, 
• and in all knowledge ; 

a 2Cor A7. 

eh. xiv. 5. 22. 39. ^ And in all know- 
ledge, ' In the knowledge of divine 
truth. They had understood the doc- 
trines which they had heard, and had 
inteUigently embraced them. This was 
not true of a// of them, but it was of the 
|x)dy of the church; and the hearty 
fiommeiidation and thanksgiving of the 
«|iostle for these fevpurs, laid the 
foundation for the remarks which he 
liad subsequently to make, and would 
tend to conciliate their minds, and dis- 
pose them to listen attentively, even to 
Uie language of leproofl 

6. Even ta, K«td-U«(. The force of 
this expression seems to be this, < The 
gospel of Christ was at first establbhed 
among you by means of the miraculous 
endowments of the Holy Ghost. Those 
flame endowments are still continued 
among you, and now furnish evidence 
of the divine favour, and of the truth of 
tiko gospel to you, even cu — ^i. e. in the 
flame measure as they did when the 
gospel was first preached.' The power 
to speak with tongues, &c (ch. xiv.) 
would be a eontinuGi nUraeky and 
would be a demonstration to them then 
of the truth of Christianity as it was at 
first Y The iegtiniony of Christ, The 
go^l. It is here called "the testi- 
mony of Christ," because it bore witness 
to Christ — to his divine nature, his 
miracles, his messiahship, his character, 
his death, &c The message of the 
gospel consisto in bearing witness to 
Christ and his work. See ch. xv. 1 — 4. 
2 Tim. i. 8. 1 Was eonjirmed. Was 
established, or proved. It was proved 
to be divine, by the miraculous attesta- 
tions of the Holy Spirit It was con- 
firmed, or made certain to their souls 
by the agency of the Holy Spirit, sealing 
it on their hearts. The word translated 
confirmed Oj^ka:^), is used in the 
iense of establishing, confirming, or 
demonstrating by miracles, &c in Ma^k 
xvi, 20. Comp. Heb. xiiL 9. Phil. L 7. 
%Jn you (if v^<r}« Among you as a 

6 Even aa the testimony of 
Chriat waa confirmed in you. 

7 So that ye come behind in 

people, or in your hearte. Perhaps th« 
apostle 'intends to include both. The 
gospel had been established among them 
by the demonstrations of the agency of 
the Spirit in the gift of tongues, and 
had at the same time taken deep root 
in their hearts, and was exerting m 
practical influence on their lives. 

7. ^ So that* God has so abundantly 
endowed you with his &vours. ^ Ye 
come behind (Ca^n^a-^au), You are 
not wanting, or deficient The word is 
usually applied to destitution, want, or 
pover^; and the declaration here is 
synonymous with what he had said, ver» 
5, that they abounded in every thing. 
^Inno gift. In no favour, or graciouB 
endowment The word used here 
(;^tf^iV/ufic), does not refisr necessarily 
to extraordinary and miraculous endow- 
ments, but includes also all the kind- 
nesses of God towards them in producing 
peace„of mind, constancy, humility, 6cc 
And the apostle meant evidently to say 
that they possessed, in rich abundance^ 
all those endowmente which were be* 
stowed on Christians. ^ Waiting for* 
Expecting, or looking fi>r this coming 
with glad and anxious desire. This 
was, certainly, one of the endowments 
to which he referred, to wit that they 
bad grace given them earnestly to desire, 
and to wait for the second appearing of 
the Lord Jesus, An earnest wish to 
see him, and a confident expectation 
and firm belief that he will return, is an 
evidence of a high state of piety. It 
demands strong fiiith, and it will do 
much to elevate the feelings above the 
world, and to keep the mind in a state 
of peace. ^ Tike coming, &c Gr. 
The revelation — (tw daroHOOjj^v) — 
the manifestation of the Son oif Grod. 
That is, waiting for his return to judge 
the world, and for his approbation of his 
people in that *iday. The earnest 
expectation of the Lord Jesus became 
one of the marks of early Christian 
piety. This return was promised by 


4. J). 59.] 



no gift ; waiting • for die * com- 
ing of our Lord Jesus Christ ; 
8 Who shall also confirm^ you 

13^1^^ »r««totfa«. 61Th«.^. 

the Ssviour to his manous disciples, 
when Im vnm ebottt to leave diem. John 
m*B. The proBBise was renewed when 
he aec en ded to heavem Acts ill. It 
beeame the eettled hi^ uid expeetilieii 
of ChristiaaB that he would letam. 
Tit,ii. 13. 8 Pet. iii. 12. Heb. iz. 28. 
And with the earnest prayer &at he 
would quickly eoine, John closes the 
iwlame of inspintion. Rev. xxit. 20, 

8. Who shall aboeonfirm you. Who 
shall estidbhsh yoa in ^ hopes oi 
ihe goepeL* He shall make yon Jirm 
(/Si^daeiwtfvy amidst all yoor trials, and 
ill the efibrts which may be made to 
shake your fidtiii, and to Femove yon 
from that firm foondalion on which you 
BOW rest 1 IMlo the end. That is, to 
&e coming of the Lord Jesus Chiist 
He would keep them to the end of life 
in the path of holiness, so that at the 
eeming of the Lord Jesus they might 
be found hlanieleaa. Corap. John xiii. 
1. The sense is, that they should be 
"^kept, and should not be.sufiered to fall 
away and perish; — and this is one of 
the many places which OKpress the 
strong confidence of Paul that those 
who an true ChriBttsns shall be pre- 
served unto everlastmg life. Gomp. 
Phif . L 6. 1 Thai ye may bo biame- 
Ibw. The word rendered bhmdtiu 
(&?t>«M)'r0vc) does not me«i p^rfiKt, 
but properly denotes those against whom 
diere is bo charge of crime ; who are 
^Miacoiised, and- against whom &ere is 
BO graond of aeeusatton. Here it does 
aot mean that they were personally per- 
fect, but that Ood would so keep them, 
and enable them to eviB<& a Christian 
diaraeter, as to give evidence thatthsy 
were his fiiends, and completely «Kape 
eondexhnation in the last day. See 
Notes on Rom. vm. dS, 34. There is 
no man who has not his fiiults; bo 
CSuistian who is not conscious of im- 
perftctton ; hut it ia the dei^gn of God 

unto the end^ thai ye mof/ be 
blameless in the day of our Lord 
Jesus Christ: 

God is £aithfttl, by whom 

80 to keep his people^ and so to jurtil^ 
aad sandify &em throu|^ the Loid 
Jesuit that the chnidi Biay be p rosea t ed 
''a glorious duBTch, wfdxnit spot or 
wrinkle" (Eph. v. 27) in te d^ of 
judgment t In the ami, dec In the 
day wiMB the Lord Jesus Aali come 
to judge the world ; and whidi wiM be 
cdled hie day, because it will be the 
day IB which hxi will be the great and 
conspicuous object, and which is esp^ 
ciidty sqfipointed to glorify him. See 
2Tfae6B. L 10, " Who shall come to 
be glorified in his saints, and to be ad- 
moed IB sll them that believe." 

9. GodvefaiUtfuL Thttis,Godie 
tme^ and constant^ and will adhere to 
his promises. He vriU not deceive. Ha 
will not promise, and then fail to per* 
fiirm ; he will not cominenee any tluBg 
which he will not perfect and finish. 
The object of Paul in intreduciBg the 
idea of IShb faithfulneea of God hwe, is, 
to shovv the reason for believing that 
the Christians at Coriiitfa would be k^ 
unto everlasting lile. The evidence 
that they will persevere depends on the 
fidelity of God ; and iSbe argument of 
the apostle is, tlmt as they had been 
called by him into the ftUowship of his 
Son, his fiothfuUiess of charaettfr wouU 
reader it certain 4hai they would k6 
kept to eleiBal life. The same idea he 
hM prasMled iB Phit i. 6» ^Being 
eobfideBt of due very thing, tfatft he 
which hach beguB a good work ia yea, 
wfll also peifami it uttfii the day- of 
Jesns Christ" ^ YewereeoOed, The 
word ^called" hare dees aot mlbr 
meioly to an invitatum or aa effer of 
I^ but to die eflEeetnal influeiKe which 
had been pot fi»di$ which Jiad inclined 
them to emfaiaoe the goi^. Note, 
Eom. via. SO; iz. 12. See Mark ii. 17. 
LidDB T. 32. GaL i. 6; ▼.«. la £ph.i 
4. CoLiii.15. In this sedse the wotd 
oAea eceuw in the Scriptures, and is 
dengnied to denote apower, or infloenee 



[A. D. 69. 

ye were called unto the feUow- 
«hip * of his Son Jesus Christ 
our Lord. 

a Uiio.l^ 9 

ibal goes forth toiih the extenial invite^ 
tioD, and that makes it effectoaL That 
power if the agency of the Holy Spirit 
1 Unio thefeOowahip of hU Son. To 
participate with his Son Jesus Christ; 
to he partakers with hun. See Notes, 
John XT. 1—8. Christians participate 
with Christ, (I.) In his feelings uid 
views. Rom. viiL 9. (2.) In his 
trials and sufieiings, bdng subjected to 
temptations and trials similar to his. 
1 Pet. IT. 13, "But rejoice, inas- 
much as ye are partaken of Christ's 
nifferingB." Col. i. S4. PhiL iu. 10. 
(3.^ In his heirship to the inheritance 
and glory which awaits him. Rom. viii. 
17, "And if children, then hein, heirs 
of God, and joint^eirs with Christ" 
1 Pet L 4. (4.) In his triumph in the 
vesuneetion and fiiture gloiy. Matt 
xix. 28, ** Ye which have folkiwed me, 
in the regeneration when Ae Son of 
man diall sit on the throne of his glory, 
ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, 
judging the twelve tribes of Israel." 
John xiv. 19, ** Because I live, ye shall 
live also.** Rev. iu. 21, « To him that 
overoometh will I grant to sit with me 
In my throne, even as I also overcame, 
and am set down with my Father in 
his throne." From all thu, the aiga- 
menl of the apostle is, that as they 
partake with Chriif in these high pri- 
vileges, and hopes, and promises, they 
will be kept by m faitobl God unto 
eternal life. God is fidthfiil to his 
Son ; and will be faithful to ail who 
are united to him. The argument ibr 
the perseverance of the saints is, there- 
.foie, sure. 

10. Now I beseech you, brethren. 
In this verse the apostle enters cm the 
discussion respecting the irrsgularities 
and disorders in the church at Corinth, 
of which he had incidentally heard. 
See ver. 1 1. The first of whidi he had 
inddentaliy learned, was that which 
pertained to the divisions and atrifios 

10 Now -I beseech yo\x, hre 
thren, by the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, * that ye all speak 


which had arisen in the church. The 
consideration of this subject oocopies 
him to ver. 17 ; and as those divisions 
had been caused by the influence of 
philosophy, end the ambition for dis- 
tineiion, and the exhibition of popular 
eloquence among the Corinthian teach- 
ers, this £sict gives occasion to him to 
discuss that subject at length (eh. L 
17 — 31 ; joA ; in which he shows (hat 
the gospel did not depend for its suc- 
cess on the reasonings of philosophy, 
or the persuasions of eloquence. This 
part of the subject he commences with 
the language of entreaty. ** I beseech 
yon, brethren" — the language of ^e&- 
tionate exhortation rather than of stem 
command. Addressing them as his bre- 
thren, as members of the same fiuni^ 
with himself he conjures them to take 
all proper measures to avoid the evils of 
schism and of strife. ^ By the name. 
By the authority of his name ; or from 
reverence for him as the common Lord 
of all. Y Of our Lord Jesus ChriH* 
The reasons why Paul thus appeals to^ 
his name and authority here, may be 
the following. (1.) Christ diould be 
regarded as the supreme head and lead- 
er of all his church. It was improper, 
therefore, that the church should be 
divided into portions, and its different 
parts enlisted under different banners. 
(2.) « The whole family in heaven and 
earth should be named" after him 
(Eph. ui. 16^, and should not be 
named aflersinferior and subordinate 
teachers. The reference to *' the vene- 
rable and endearing name of Christ here, 
stands beautifully and properiy opposed 
to the vaifous human names under 
which they were so ready to enlist them- 
wiAvtB:^^J)oddridgc. "There is scarce a 
word or expiession that he [Paul] makes 
use of, but with relation and tenden^ 
to his present main purpose ; as here, 
intending to abolish the names of leaders 
they had distinguidied themselves by, be 

•-»- — T" 



A.T). 69.] 

the same thing, and that there 
be no ^ divisions among you ; but 

* fchiamt. 

beseeches them bj the name of Chnst, 
a form that I do not remember he 
elsewhere uses.'' — Locke, (3.) The 
prime and leading thing whidi Christ 
had enjoined on his church was union 
and mutual love (John xiii. 34 ; xv. 1 TV 
and for this he had most earnesth' 
prayed in his memorable prayer. John 
zvii. 21—^3. It was well for Paul 
thus to appeal to the name of Christ — 
the sole head and Lord of his church, 
and the friend of union, and thus to 
rebuke the divisions and strifes which 
had arisen at Corinth. ^ That ye all 
speak the same thing, <* That ye hold 
ttie same doctrine." — Locke. This ex- 
hortation evidently refeis to their hold- 
ing and expressing the same religious 
sentiments, and is designed to rebuke 
that kind of contention and strife which 
is evinced where different opinions are 
held and expressed. To "i^ak the 
same thing" stands opposed to speak- 
ing different and conflicting things ; or 
to controversy, and although perfect 
uniformity e£ opinion cannot be ex- 
pected among men on the subject of 
religion any more than on other sub-i 
jccts, yet on the great and fundamental | 
doctrines of Christianity, Christians 
may be agreed ; on all points in which 
they di&r they may evince^ a good 
spirit ; and on ' all subjects they may 
express their sentiments in the lan- 
guage of the Bible, and thus ** speak 
Sie same thing.'' i And that there be 
no divisions among you, Greek, 
a%ivfMnrAy schisms. No divisions into 
contending parties and sects. The 
church, was to be regarded as one and 
indivisible, and not to be rent into 
different Actions, and ranged under the 
banners of different leaders. Comp. 
Johnix.l6. lCor.xi.l8;xu.25. ^ But 
that ye he perfectly joined together 
(Jit* i\ nanm^ta-fAifo^, The word here 
used and rendered ** perfectly joined 
together,'* denotes properly to restore, 
mend, or repair that which is rent or 



that ye be perfectly joined toge- 
ther in the same mind and in the 
same judgment 

disordered (Matt iv. 21. Mark L 19), 
to amend or eomct that which u 
moraUy evil and erroneous (Gal. vL 1), 
to render perfect cft complete (Luke vfc 
40), to fit or adapt any thing fa its 
proper place so that it shall bo ckm^ 
plete in all its' parts, and harmomoQi^ 
(Heb. xi. 5) ; and Uienoe to oompoM 
and settle controversies, to produce har- 
mony and order. The apostle hera 
evidently desires that they should be 
united in feeling ; that every member 
of the churdi should occuf^ his appro- 
priate place, as every member of a weH 
proportioned body, or part of a ma- 
chine has its a]^ropriate place and use. 
See his wishes more fully expressed in 
chap. xii. 12 — 31. ^ In the same 
mind {nt)» See Rom. xv. 6. This 
cannot mean that they were to be 
united in precisely the same sIumIbs of 
opinion, which is impossible— but that 
their minds were to be disposed to- 
wards each other with mutual good 
will, and that they should live in har- 
mony. The word here rendered mind, 
denotes not merely the intellect its^, 
but that which is in the mind— ^ 
thoughts, counsels, plans; Rimi. xL 
34; xiv. 6. 1 Cor. iL 16. CoL ii. 
18. Bretsehneider, -^ And in the 
same judgment (yt^itfAjf), This wwd 
properly denotes science, or know* 
ledge; opinion, or sentiment; and 
sometimes, as here, the purpose of the 
mind, or wiU. The sentiment of the 
wrhole IS, that in their understandingis 
and their volitions, they should be 
united and kindly disposed towards 
each other. Union of feeling la possi- 
ble even where men differ much in 
their viewaof things. They may lovse 
eadi other mtich, even where they do 
not see alike. They may give each other 
credit for honesty and sincerity, and 
may be willing to sujqpose that otfaete 
may- he right, and are honest smn 
where their own views diiOer. The 
ibundatbn of Obrisliaa uaku is not lo 



[A. D. 69. 

i 11 For it hath b^en declared 
mto me of yout my brethreiH by 
them tohich are of the house of 
Chloe, that there axe contentioiifl 
among yon. 

amch laid in uaiformity of intellectual 

CMplion aa in right feelings of the 
lit And the proper way to produce 
anion in the church of God, is not to 
h^gm bj attempting to equalize all 
mteUeeit on the bed of Procrustes, but 
to piodoce supreme love to God, and 
etetated and pure Christian love to all 
who bear the image and the name of 

11. For ii htdh been deebtred 
wnio me. Of the contentions exist- 
ing in the church at Corinth, it is 
evident that they had not informed him 
in the letter which they had sent See 
eh. viL 1, comp. the Introduction. 
He had inddentaily heard of thoir con- 
tentions. ^ JIfy bretkren, A token 
of aftetionale regard, evuicing his love 
inr them, and his deep interest in their 
wolSue, even when he administered a 
needed rebuke. 1 Of the house ^ 
Ckhe. Of the &mily of Chloe. It 
la most probable that Chloe was a 
member of the church at Corinth, 
flbme of whose femily had been at 
Epbssus when Paul was, and had given 
bun information of the state of things 
there. Who those members of her 
fiuttily were,' is unknown. Grotius 
conjeetuns that they were Stephanas, 
Portunatus, and Achaicus, mentioned 
in ch. zvL 17, who brought the letter 
of &e chun^ at Corinth to PauL 
But of this there is no certain evi- 
dence ; perhi^pB not much probability. 
If the inlbnnation bad be^ obtained 
from them, it is probable that it would 
have been put in the letter which they 
boie. The probability is that Paul had 
noeived this information before they 

12. Now ihia I say. This is what 
I mean; or, I give this as an in- 

of the contentions to which I 

Y I%at e»ery one of you saitL 

That yoa aM dinM into diieient foo- 

12 Now this I say, that eyery 
one of you saith, I am of Paul ; 
and I of Apollos ; * and I of Ce- 
phas ; * and I of Christ. 

a Acts 19.1. b JBoa.42. 

tions, and ranged under different lead* 
ors. The word translated " that" (m) 
might be translated here, because, or 
since, as giving a reason for his affirm- 
ing (ver. 11) that there were conten* 
tions there. 'Now I say that there 
are contentions, became yon are ranged 
under different leaders/ dec Cahin* 
^ lam of PauL It has been doubted 
whether Paul meant to affirm that the 
parties had actually taken the names 
which he here specifies, or whether he 
uses these names as illustrations, or 
suppositions, to show the absurdity of 
their ranging themselves under diffinr- 
ent leaders. Many of the ancient in- 
terpreters supposed that Paul was un> 
willing to specify the real names of the 
false teachers tod leaders of the par- 
ties, and that he used these names 
simply by way of illustraJtion. This 
opinion was grounded chiefly on what 
he says in ch. iv. 6, ** And these things^ 
brethren, I have in a figure transferred 
to myself and to Apollos for your 
sakes," &c. But in this place Paul is 
not referring so particularly to the fac- 
tions or parties existing in the church, 
as he is to the necessity of modesty 
and humility ; and in order to enforce 
this, he refers to himself and ApoDoa 
to show that even those most lughly 
&voured should have a low estimate of 
their importance, since all their sncceas 
depends on God. See ch. iii. 4 — tf. 
It can scarcely be doubted that Paul 
here meant to say that there were paiw 
ties existing in the church at Corinth, 
who were called by the names of him- 
self, of Apollos, of Cephas, and of 
Christ This is the natural coiistruo- 
tion; and this was evidently the in- 
formation which he had received by 
those who were of the fomily of Chloe. 
ffhy the parties were ranged under 
these leaders, however, can be only a 
matter of oonjectnre. Lightfoot sug- 

A. D. 69.] 



^ 13 Is CkriBt divided? was 
Paul crucified for you, or were 

gests that the church at Corinth was 
composed partly of Jews and partly of 
Gentiles. See Acts xviii. The Gen- 
tile converts, he supposes, would range 
themselves under Paul and ApoUos as 
their leaders; and the Jewish under 
Peter and- Christ Paul was the apos- 
tle to the Gentiles, and Peter particu- 
larly the apostle to the Jews (GaK ii. 
7) ; and this circumstance might give 
rise to the division. Apollos succe^ed 
Paul in Achaiaj and laboured success- 
lully there. See Acts xviii. 27,38. These 
two original parties might be again sub- 
divided. A part of those who adhered 
to Paul and Apollos might regard Saul 
whh chief veneration, as being the found- 
er of the church, as the instrument of 
their conversion, as the chief apostle, as 
signally pure in his doctrine and man- 
ner; and a part might regard Apollos 
as the instrument of their conversion, 
and as being distingushed for eloquence. 
It- is evident that the main reason why 
ApoUos was regarded as the head of a 
fiiction was on account of his extra- 
ordinary eloquence, and it is probable 
that his followers might seek particu- 
larly to imitate him' in the graces of 
popular elocution. ^ And I of Cephas. 
Peter. Comp. John i 42.' He was 
regarded particularly as the apostle to 
the Jews. Gal. ii. 7. He had his own 
peculiarity of views in teachmg, and it 
IS probable that his teaching was not 
regarded as entifdy harmonious with 
that of Paul. See GaL if. 11—17. 
Paul had everywhere among tfie Gren- 
tiles taught that it was not necessiairy to 
observe the ceremonial laws of Moses ; 
and, it is probable, that Peter was re- 
garded by the Jews as the advocate of 
die contrary doctrine. Whether Peter 
had been at Corinth is unknown. ' If 
not, they had hedrd of his name, and 
diaracter; and those who had come 
from Judea had probably reported him 
as teaching a doctrine on the subject 
of the observance of Jewish ceremo- 
BieauDlika that of Paul. ^ And I of 

ye baptized in the name of 

Chnsi, Why this sect professed to be 
the followers of Christ, is not certainly 
known. It probably arose from one of 
the two following causes. (1.) Either 
that they had been in Judea and had 
seen Ihe Lord Jesus, and thus regarded 
themseivei as particularly favoured and 
distinguished ; or, (2.) More probably 
because they refused to call themselvea 
by any in^or leader, and wished to 
regard Christ alone as their head, and 
possibly prided themselves on the 
belief that they were more conformed 
to him than the dther sects. ^ 

13. Is Christ divided? Pau],'in thia 
verse, proceeds to show the impropriety 
of their divisions and strifes. Hii 
general argument is, that Christ alone 
ought to be regarded as their head and 
leader, and that Ids' claimSf arising from 
his crucifixion, and acknowledged by 
their baptism, weise so prensminentthat 
they could not be divided, and th6 
honours due to him should not be ren* 
dered to any other. The apostle, 
therefore, asks, with strong emphads, 
whether Christ was to be regarded as 
divided 1 Whether this single m* 
preme head and leader of the church, 
had become the head of different con* 
tending fiictions t The strong^ absurd-^ 
ity of supporang that, showed the im*' 
propriety of their ranging themselvea 
under different banners and leaders. 
% Was Paul erudfied for you ? This 
question implies that 'the crucifixion of 
Christ had an influence in saving them 
which the sufferings of no othbr one 
could have, and that those suffirings 
weriB in fact the pecofiarity which dis- 
tinguished the , work of Christ, and 
rendei'ed it of so m^bh value. The 
atonement was' the grand, crowning 
work of the Loid Jestis. It was 
through this that all %e Corinthian 
Christians had been renewed and par- 
doned. Thai'workwas so pre-eminent 
that it eottld not have been pei^med 
by another. And as Ihey had olf beciA 
saved by that atene; as tbHaf wiMtt 



14 I thank God that I bap- 
tized none of you but Crispus ' 
and Gaius ; * 

a Acta l&a h Bom.16.23. 3JnoJ^c. 

alike dependent on hi* merits for salvia 
tioo, it was improper that they should 
he rent into contending Actions, and 
ranged under different leaden, if 
there is any thing that will recall 
Christians of different names and of 
contending sects from the heat of stri£a, 
it is the recoUectiiHi of the fact that 
they have heen purchased hy the same 
blood, and that the same Saviour died 
to redeem them all. If this fiict could 
he kept before their minds» it would put 
an «id to angry strifs eveiywhere in 
the churdi, and produce universal 
Christian loTe. f Or were ye hap-' 
tiz^ in ike name of Paul Or intOf 
or unto the name of PauL See Note, 
Matt xxviiL 19. To be baptized into, 
or unto any one is to be devoted to 
him, to receive and acknowledge him 
a(i a teacher, professing to receiva his 
rules, and to he goveriMd by his autho- 
rity.— Xocjae. Paul here solemnly re- 
minds them that their baptism was an 
axgnment why they should not range 
themselves uxiderdifierant leaden. By 
that, they had been solemnly and en- 
tirely devoted to the aervioeof the only 
Saviour. 'Did I ever,' was the im- 
plied hngoage of Paid, 'baptize in 
my own name % Did lever pretend to 
oiganiae a sect, annoanctng myself as 
a leader 1 Have not I always directed 
you to that Saviour into whose name 
and eervice you have been baptized 1' 
It is remarkable here, that Paul re&n 
to himself, and not to ApoUos or Peter. 
He does not insinnate that the claims 
ef ApoUos or Peter were to be dispa- 
raged, or their talents and influence to 
be undervdued, as a jealous rival 
would have done; but he numben 
himself first, and alone, as having no 
claims to be regarded as a religions 
leader among them,, or the fi>under of 
» sect. £ven he, the founder of the 
church, and their spiritual &ther, had 
never desired or intended that they 

.15 Leat any ahosld say that I 

had baptized in mme own name* 

16 And I baptized also the 

should can themselves by hie aame; 
and he thus showed the impropriety of 
their adopting the name of any man 
as the leader of a sect 

14. I thank Gody dec Why Paul 
did not himself baptne, see in ver. 17. 
To him it was now a subject of grateliil 
reflection that he had not done it He 
had not given any occasion for the suo- 
pidon that he had intended to set him- 
self up as a leader of a sect or party. 
^ But Criepus, Criqpus had been the 
duef ruler ^ the sjnMgogoe at Coring 
Acts xviii. 8. 1 And Gaiua. Oaiua 
resided 'St Corinth, and at^ his hooae 
Paul resided when he wrote the epistle 
to the Romans. Rom. ;zvi. 23. It k 
also possible that the third epistle of 
John was direct to this man. See 
3 John 1. And if so, then probably 
Diotrephes (3 John 9), who is men- 
tioned as one who loved ''to have the 
pre-eminence,'' had been one cause of 
the difficulties at Corinth. The oth^r 
persons at Corinth had been probably 
baptized by Silas and Timothy. 

15. Leat any shoutd aay, Lestai^ 
of those who had been baptised should 
pervert his design, and say that Paul 
had baptized them unto himself; or, 
lest any oChen should, with any appeeiw 
ance if truth, say that he had •sought 
to make discipIoEi to himsell The 
Ethiopic version renden this, 'that ye 
idiould not say we were baptized in hiff 
name.'* Many of the ancient MSS. 
tetd this, * lest any shoidd say that ye 
were baptized into my name/ IiBtL 

16. And I baptized aieo the house- 
hold. The &mily. Wliether there 
were any infants in the family, does 
not appear. It is certain that the ftp 
mily;(vas among the first converts to 
Christianity in Achaia, and that it had 
evinced great zeal in aiding those who 
w«re Christians. See chap. xvi« 15.—- 
From the manner in whidi Paul men- 
tions this, it is pc€lMd)le that Stej^banas 


A. a 69.] 


teusehold of Stepbanas; • be- 
cddes, I know not whether I 
baptized any other* 

*m, «f, ■ ■ I. I,. ■ -I. . . . 1. ■ 

did not reside at ConBth when he wm 
baptind, though he might have eubee- 
qnenlijr remoYed Aeie. <I baptised 
none of you (yet. 14)— «. e.~none oi 
theee who penminentiy dwelt at Co- 
lintfa, or who were memben of the 
eriginal chureh theie, hot CrisiMis and 
€huue— but I bap^Md also the iamily 
ef Stephanas, new of your number.'-— 
Or it may mean, ' I baptized none of you 
loAo an aduU membin of the. ebui^ 
but Criapue and Gahia, though I also 
baptiaed the/omti^ of Stephanae.'/ If 
Ihtt be the true interpretation, then it 
Ibima an argument to prove that Paul 
paaciiaed houaehoU baptism, or the bap- 
tiam ef the families of those who were 
themoehres betierers. Or the expression 
may simply mdicate a reeoil^Uon^ of 
the true drcumstanoes of the case— ^ 
species of eorreelwfi of the stafeemant 
in ver. 14, * I recollect now also that I 
baptiaed Uie &mUy of Stephanas.' 
t HonmhM, (mrot). The houas; tiie 
teiily. The word comprises the whole 
fiuttily, including adults, domestics^ 
slaves, and childran. It includes, (1.) 
The men in a house, (Acts vii. 10. 
1 Tim. ni. 4, 6. 13 ;) (3.) Bomesiiea, 
(Aotsx.d; xi.14; 3^vtl6.31. iTim. 
iii. 4;) (3.) T^e family in generaL 
Lufcez.6; xvL27. B9«<scAneicfer. It 
was the custom, doubtless, for the epos- 
lies to baptise. the enttre houtdtold, 
whatever might be Uie age, including 
domestics, slaves, and chUdren. The 
head of a fimufy gave up the enlne 
hmuehM to God. ^ €f Stephanas. 
Who Stephanas was, is not known. 
The Greek commentators say that he 
was the jaHer of Phil^pi, who, after 
ha had been beplised (Acts xvt. SSV 
removed with his fiumly to Coiinth. 
But of this there is no eertatn evi- 
dence. Y Beittiw. Beeidss tiiese. ^ / 
hmmo not, dbc. I do net know whe- 
t^OT I baptized any others who are noto 
Mttbets aC tint siMNlb. PmbIwotU, 

17 For Ghrkt sent mfi not 
to baptize, but to preach the 
gospel: not with wisdom * of 

doubticas, recoUeet that he had baptiiea 
others in other places^ but he is spsak* 
ing here particulaily of Corinth. Thb 
is not to be urged sf an arguaenft 
against the impiration rot Paul, fiir 
(1.) It was not the design of inspinh 
tion to fiee the memeiy from defect m 
ordinary tmnsactions» or in those^hings 
which were not to be received fiir ths 
hwtniction of the chureh; (3.) The 
meaning of Paul may simply be, * I 
know not who of the original members 
of the^charch at Corinth may have re- 
moved, or who may have died ; I know 
not wlio may have removed to CSiinth 
fiom otiier plaoee wherel have preach* 
ed and baptiad, and consequently I 
cannot know whether I may not have 
baptiaed aome otiiets of your pveaant 
number.* It is evident, however^ th«t 
if he had baptiaed any others, the uuoft» 
bar was small. 

17. For Ckrui oeni me not to hap^ 
Oze, That is, not to htiiptiie ss my 
main business. Baptism was not fab 
principal employment, though he had a 
commieeioo in common wkh othem to 
administer the ordinance, and occasionbi 
ally did it The same thing vras tnie 
of the Safioisr, tiist he did not peisei^ 
ally baptize. John iv. 3. It is pr»* 
bable that the baainess of baptism was 
intrusted to the ministeiB of the chureh 
of inieri<Mr talents, or to those who were 
ocmnecled with the chnrdies penu^ 
nently, and net to those who were en- 
gaged chiefly in traveUing from jriaee 
to place. The reasons of this may 
have been, (1.) That which Paul heie 
suggests, that if the apostles had themh 
selves baptized, il ixught have given oo- 
carion to strifes, and tiie formation oi 
parties, as those who had Been baptiaed 
by the apostles might daim some supe^ 
riority over those who were not. (3.) 
It is probiMe that the rite of baptism 
was prsoeded or followed by a eoana 
ef iBSlfwstion adapted to it^ and aalhs 

*- words, lest the cross of Christ 

* or, ap$eeh. 

apoitles were traTelling from place to 
place, this could be better intraBted to 
those who were to be with them as 
their ordinary religious teachers, h 
was an advantage* that those who im- 
parted this instraction should also ad- 
minister this ordinance. (3.) It is not 
improbable, as Doddridg^ supposes, that 
the adnunistration of this ordinance 
was intrusted to inferiors, because it 
was commonly practised by immersion, 
and was attended with some trouble 
and inconvenience, while tbe time of 
the apostles might be more directly o^ 
copied in their main work. ^ But to 
preath the goapeL As his main busi- 
ness ; as the leading, grand purpose of 
his ministry. This is the grand object 
of all ministers. It is not to build up 
a sect or party ; it is not to secure sim- 
ply the baptism of people in this or 
that communion ; it is to make known 
.the glad tidings of salvation, and call 
men to repentance and to God. ^ Not 
with wiadom of words (Urn. ly a-o^U 
xiyw). Not in wisdom of speech. 
Margin. The expression here is a 
Hebraism, or a form of speech com- 
mon in the Hebrew writings, where a 
noun is used to express .the meaning 
of an adjective, and means not in wise 
words or tKseourse, The imsdom here 
mentioned, refers^ doubtless, to that 
which was common among the Greeks, 
and which was so, highly valued. It 
im^uded the following things: — (1.) 
Their subtle and learned mode of dis- 
putation, or that which vras practised 
in their schools of philosophy. (2.) 
A graceful and winning eloquence ; the 
arts by which they sought to commend 
their sentiments, and to win others to 
their opinions. On this also the Greek 
rhetoricians greatly valued themselves, 
and this, probably, the felse teachers 
endeavoured to imitate. (3.) That 
which is elegant and finished in litera- 
ture, in style and composition. On 
this the Greeks greatly valued them- 
•elvea, as the Jews did on miracles and 
Compb ym. M. Tha i^estie 

I. CORINtlilANS* [A. D« 99 

should be made of none efhcL 

means to say, that the success of the 
gospel did not depend on these things ; 
Uiat he had not sought them ; nor had 
he exhibited them in his 4>reaehing. 
His doctrine and his manner had not 
been such as to appear vrise to tbe 
Greeks ; and he had not depended on 
eloquence or philosophy for his soo- 
cess. Longinus (on the Sublime) 
enumerates Paul among jnen diadn- 
guished for eloquence; but it is pn^ 
bafole that he was not distinguished lor 
the graces of mafmcr (oomp. 3 Cor. x. 
1. 10), so much as ^e strength and 
power of 'hiitf reasoning. 

Paul here introduces a new subject of 
discourse, which he pursues through this 
and the two following diapters— the 
efifect of philosophy on the gospel, or the 
estimate which ought to be formed in 
regard to it The reasons why he in- 
troduces this topic, and dwells upon it 
at such length, aro not perfect^ ap- 
parent They are supposed to have 
been the following. (1.) He had inci- 
dentally mentioned his own preaching, 
and his having been set apart paiticik- 
larly to that ; ver.1 7. (12.) His authority, 
it is probable, had been called in question 
by the folse teachen at Corinth. (3.) 
The ground of this, or the reason why 
they dndervalued him, had been prc^ 
bably, that he had not Evinced the elo- 
quence of manner and the graces of 
oratory on which they so much valued 
themselves. (4.) They had depended 
for their success on captivating the 
Greeks by the charms of graceful rhe- 
toric and the refinements of subtle ar- 
gumentation. (6.) In every way, there- 
fore, the deference paid to rhetoric and 
philosophy in the church, had tended 
to bring the pure gospel into disrepute ; 
to produce faction ; and to destroy the 
authority of the apostle. It was neoee- 
sary, therefore, thoroughly to examine 
the subject, and to expose the real in- 
fluence of the philosophy on which 
they placed so high a vfUue* ^ Z^ 
the cross of Christ. The simple do^- 
bMw thrt Cfaoit was cnieified to make 



18 For the preaching of the 
cross is to them ** that perish 


itoitaeraent for the sins of men. This 
was the peculiarity of the gospel ; and 
OD this doctrine the gospel depended 
for success in the world. ^ Sf^ld be 
made of none effect Should be render- 
ed vain and ineffectual. That is, lest the 
success which might attend the preach- 
ing of the gospel should be attributed 
to the graces of eloquence, the charms 
of hinguage, or the force of human ar- 
gumentation, rather than to its true 
oause, the preaching of Christ crucified ; 
or lest the attempt to^ recommend it by 
the charms of eloquence should divert 
the attention from the simple doctrines 
ci the cross; and the preadhing be really 
vain. The preaclung of the gospel^ de» 
pends for its success on the simple 
power of its truths, borne by the Holy 
%iirit to the hearts of men ; and not 
on the power of argumentation, and 
the charms of eloquence. To have 
adorned the gospel with the charms of 
Gxecian rhetoric, would have obscured 
its wisdom and efficacy^ just as the 
gilding of a diamond would destroy its 
brilliancy. True eloquence, and real 
learning and sound sense, are not to 
be regarded as valueless; but their use 
in preaching is to convey the truth 
vrith plainness ; to fix the mind on the 
pure gospel ; and to leave the convio- 
tion on the heart that this system is the 
power of God. The design of Paul 
here cannot be to condemn true elor 
quence and just leasonihg, but to re- 
buke the vain parade, and the glitter- 
ing ornaments, and dazzling rbetorio 
which were objects of so much esteem 
in Greece. A real belief of the gospel, 
a simple and natural statement of its 
aublime truths, will admit o^ and 

Eompt to, the most manly and noble 
nd of eloquence. The highest pow- 
ers of mind, and the most varied leanv 
ing, may find ample scope forlhe illus- 
tnuion and the defence of the aim* 

ge doctrines of the goepel of Christ, 
ut it does not depend for its success 
on these, but csa its punrand. heavenly 


foolishness ; but unto ns whicli 
are saved it is the power* of God. 

b Rom. 1.16. 

truths, bomo to the mind by the agencj 
of the Holy Spirit 

18. For the preaching of the ero9$* 
Greek, * the tooro^ (o xiyK) of tho 
cross ;' t. e. the doctrine of the cross; 
or the doctrine which proclaims salva* 
tion only through the atonement which 
the Lord Jesus Christ made on th* 
cross. This cannot mean that the 
statement that Christ died as a nuuiyr 
on a cross,> appears to be foolishness t6 
men ; be^mse, if that was all, there 
would be nothing that would appees 
contemptible, or that would excite their 
opposttioa more than in the death of 
any other martyr. The statement thailr 
Polycarp, and Ignatius, and Paul, and 
Cranmer died as qiartyre, does not ap- 
pear to men to be foolishness, for it is 
a statement of an historical truth, and 
their death excites the high admiration 
of all men. And if, in the death of 
Jesus- on the cross, there -had been 
nothing more than a mere martyr^a 
death, it would have been equally the 
object of admiration to idl men. But 
the ** preaching of the cross" must denote 
more ^lan that; and must mean, (1.) 
That Christ died as .an atoning sacrifice 
for the sine of men, and that it was this 
which gave' its peculiarity to his sofiet* 
ings on the cross. (2.) That men can 
be reconciled to GU)d, pardoned, and 
saved only by the merits and influenoe 
of thb atoning sacrifice. ^ To them 
thai perieh froif fi»' itJiwjMfMKiie)» T« 
those who are about 'to perish, or te 
those yrho have a chazaeter fittin|f 
them for destruction ; t. e. to the wieib> 
ed. The expression stands in contrasi 
with those who are ** saved/' e. e. those 
who have seen the beauty of the cross 
of Christ, and who have fl^ to it fiir 
saWation. 1 FooUabneas. Folly. Thai 
is, it appeara to them to be contempt^ 
bte and foolish, or unworthy of beliell 
To the great mass of the Jews, and te 
the heaUien philosophers, and indeed^ 
to &e majority of the men of thie 
waiidy it has ever ^ip^ared foolisbnoM^ ' 


[A. D. 59. 

ftf tliA kXtcmvag nunru, (1.) The 
humble origin of the Lord Jeciu. They 
despise him that tived in Nazareth; 
that was poor ; that had no home, and 
ftw firienda, and no wealth, and little 
honour among hia own countrymen. 
(8.) They despiae him who was put to 
•eath, as an impostor, at the instigation 
cf his own countrymen, in an igno- 
minious inanner on the cross — ^the 
usual punidiment of slaves. (3.) They 
see not why there should be any parti- 
cular efficai^ in bis deftth. They deem 
it incredible that he who could not save 
hsmself should be able to saye them ; 
wad thai glory dioufd come from the 
ignominy of the cross. (4.) They are 
Mind to the true beauty of his personal 
diameter; to the true dignity of his 
Bature ; to his power over the sick, the 
lame, the dying, and the dead; they 
see not the bearing of the ^t6tk of 
atonement on the law and government 
cf Gk)d; they believe not in his nsur- 
nelicni, and his present state of exalted 
glory. The world looks only at the 
fret, that the despised man of Nazareth 
was put to death on a cross, and smiles 
al the idea that such a death could have 
any important influence on the salvation 
ol man«— It is worthy of remark, also, 
that to the ancient pfaoloeophers this 
doctrine would appear stall more con- 
tamptible than it does to the men of 
these times. Every thing that, came 
fiom Judea, they looked upon with 
oootempt and scorn ; and they would 
•pnm. above all things else the doctrine 
that they were to expect salvation only 
fay the crucifixion of a Jew. Besides, 
ne account of the cradfixioR has now 
lost to us no small part of its reputa- 
tion of ignominy. Even around the 
oroas there is conceived to be no small 
amount of honour and glory. There 
is now « sacredness about it from reli- 
gious associations; and a revierence 
which men in Christian lands can 
•euoely help feeling when they think 
af it But to the ancients it was con- 
■aded with every idea of ignominy. 
ft was the puniriiment of slaves, im- 
foatoi% and vagabonds ; and had even 
• fieatar degfea of dipgmee attached to 

it than the gallows has with us. With 
them, therefore, the death on the cross 
was associated with the idea '<^ all tha* 
is shameful and dishonourable ; and to 
speak of salvation only by the snfiep* 
ings and death of a crucified man, was 
fitted to excite in their bosoms only un 
mingled scorn. ^ Bui unto u» which 
are saved. This stands oippoaed to 
''them that perish." It refers, doubt- 
less, to Christians, as being eaived tcqm 
the power and condemnation of sin ; 
and as having a prospect of etnnaal 
salvation in the world to come. ^ It 
t> the power of God, See Note, Rom. 
L 16. This may either mean that the 
gospel u called "the power of God," 
because it is the medium thiou|^ 
which Giod exerts his power in the sal- 
vation of sinners; or, the gospel u 
adapted to the coiidition of man, and 
is efficacious in renewing him and 
sanctifying him. It is not an inert, 
inactive letter, but is so fitted to the 
understanding, the heart, the hi^es, 
the fears of men, and all their great 
constitutional principles of action, that 
it actually overcomes their sin, and dii^ 
fuses peace through the soul. This 
efficacy b not unfrequently attributed 
to the gospel, ' John xvii. 17. Heb. !▼• 
12. James L 18. 1 Pet i 22, 33.— When 
the gospel,.hpwever, or the preaching 
of the cross, is spoken of as efleetnal 
or powerful, it must be understood of 
all the agencies whidh are connected 
with it ; and does not refer to simple* 
abstract propositions, but to the truth 
as it comes attended with the influences 
which God sends down to accompany 
it It includes, therefore, the promised 
agency of the Holy Spirit, without 
which it would not be t^fectuaL But 
the agency of the S^t is designed to 
give efficacy to that which u realfy 
adapted to produce the effects, and not 
to act in an arbitrary inanner. All Uie 
effects <tf the gospel on the soul— 4n 
regeneration, repentance, feith, sanctifi- 
cation ;— in hope, love, joy, peace, 
patience, tomperaaee, purity, and de- 
votedness to God, are only such as iht 
gospel ie fitted to produce. It has a 
set of tratha and promises Just odiapM 

A. D. 59.] 



19 For it is written, * I will 
destroy the wisdom of the wise, 

a Ii9a.29.14. Jer.8.9. 


to eaeh of these effects ; jast fitted to 
the soul by him who knows it; and 
adapted to produce just these results. 
The Holy Spirit secures their influence 
on the mind ; and is the grand iTving 
agent of accomplishing just what the 
truth of God is fitted driginaUy to 
produce. Thus the preaching of the 
cross is "the power of God;" and 
every minister may present it with the 
assurance that he is presenting,, not *^ a 
eanningly devised ffiAe^ but a system 
really fitted to save men ; and yet, that 
its reception by the human mind de- 
pends on the promised presence of the 
Holy Spirit. 

.. 19. For it is written. This passage 
is quoted from Isa. ixix. 14. The He- 
brew of the passage, as rendered in the 
English version is, ^the wisdom of 
their wise men shall perish, and the 
understanding of their prudent mep 
shall be hid.*' The version of the 
LXX. is, " I will destroy the wisdom 
of the wise, and the understanding of 
the prudent 1 will hide" (xci'4^)) cor- 
responding substantially with the quo- 
tation by Paul. The sense in the He- 
brew is not materially different. The 
meaning of the passage as used by 
Isaiah is, that such was the iniquity 
and stupidity of ** Ariel" (Isa.xxix.1}, 
that is, Jerusalem, that God would so 
execute his judgments as to confound 
their wise men, and overwhelm those 
who boasted of their understanding. 
Those in whom they had confided, and 
on whom they relied, should appear to 
be ber«ft of their wisdom ; and they 
should be made conscious of their own 
want of counsel to meet and remove 
the impending calamities. The apostle 
does not affirm that this passage in 
Isaiah refers to the times of the gospcL 
The contrary is manifestly true. But 
it expresses a general principle of the 
divine administration — that the coming 
forth of God is often $ueh aa to eon- 
found hvanan prudence g in a man- 

and will bring to nothing the 
understanding of the prudent. 

ner which human unsdom would noi 
have devised/ and in such a way as h 
show thai he is not dependent on the 
wisdom of man. As. such, the senti- 
ment is applicable to the gospel ; and 
expresses just the idea which the apos- 
tle wished to convey— that the wieidom 
of the wise should be confounded by the 
plan of Grod ; and the schemes of human 
devising be set at naught Y / wiU 
destroy. That is, I will abolish; or 
will not be dependent on it; or will 
show that my plans are not derived 
from the counsels of men. ^ Tkt 
wisdom of the wise. The professed 
wisdom of philosophers. ^ And wiU 
bring to nothing. WiU show it to be 
of no value in this matter. ^ The 
prudent. The men professing under- 
standing ; the sages of the world. W# 
may remark, (1.) That the plan of sal- 
vation was not the contrivance of hu- 
man wisdom. (2.) It is unlike what 
men have themselves devised as sys- 
tems of religion. It did not occur to 
the ancient philosophers; nor has it 
occurred to the modem. (3.) It may 
be expected to excite the opposition, 
the contempt, and the scorn of the wise 
men of this world; and the gospel 
makes its way usually, not with thdr 
fricnddiip, but in the fiice of their op- 
portion. (4.) Its success is such ai 
to confound and perplex them. Thej 
despise it, and they see not its secret 
power ; they witness its effects, but are 
unable to account for them. It has al- 
ways been a question with philosop|iers 
why the gospel met with such success ; 
and the various accounts which have 
been given of it by its enemies, show 
how much they have been embarrassed. 
The most elaborate part of Gibbon's 
" Decline and Fall of the Roman Em« 
pire," is contained in his attempt to 
state the causes of the early propaga- 
tion of Christianity, in ch. xv. xvL; 
and the obvious fiulure of the account 
shows how much the mind of the ph^ 


tA.D. 59 

20 Where • is the wise? 

a Iaa.33,l&. 

loflophic skeptic was embarraafled by 
(fae fac( of the spread of Chmtianity. 
(6.) The reception ci the gospel de- 
mands an humbie mind. Mark x. 16. 
Men of good sense, of humble hearts, 
of childlike temper, embrace it; and 
they see its beauty, and are won by its 
loveliness, and controlled by its power. 
They give themselves to it ; and find 
tfiat it is fitted to save their souls. (6.) 
In this, Christianity is like all science. 
The discoveries in science are such as 
to confound the wise in their own con- 
ceits, and overthrow the opinions of 
the prodent, just as much as the gospel 
does, and thus show that both are 
Irom the same God — the God who de- 
lights to pour such a flood of truth oii 
Ihe mind as to overwhelm it in admi- 
ration of himself, and with the convic- 
tion of its own littleness. The pro- 
Ibundest theories in science, and the 
vest subtle speculations of men of 
genius, in regard to the causes of 
things, are often overthrown by a few 
fimple discoveries — and discoveries 
which are at first despised as much as 
tfie gospel is. The invention of the 
telescope by Gralileo was to the theories 
4tf philosophers and astronomers, what 
the revelation of the gospel was to the 
systems of ancient learning, and the 
deductions of human wisdom. The 
9De confounded the world as much as 
the other; and boUi were at first equally 
the object of opposition or contempt 

%0. Where is tfie wise ? Language 
omilar to this occurs in Isa. xxziii. 18, 
^"Where is the scribe 1 where is the 
feoeiver ? where is he that counted the 
towers V* Without designing to quote 
these words as having an original re- 
ference to the subject now under con- 
nderation, Paul uses them as any man 
does language where he finds words 
with which he or his readers are femi- 
liar, that will convey his meaning. A 
nan femiliar with the Bible, will natu- 
fttlly often make nse of Scripture ex- 
pessions in conveying his ideas. In 
uaiah the passage refers to the deliver- 

where is the scribe ? where i» 

ance of the people from the threatened 
invasion of Sennacherib. The 18th 
verse represents the people as medi* 
tating on the threatened terhor of the 
invasion ; anu then in the language of 
exultation and thanksgiving at their 
deliverance, saying, * where is the wiso 
man that laid the plan of destroying 
the nation ? Where the Inspector Ge- 
neral (see my Note on the passage in* 
Isaiah), employed in arranging the 
forces 1 Where the receiver (marg^« 
the weigher) f the paymaster of the 
forces 1 Where the man that counted 
the towers of Jerusalem, and calculated 
on their speedy overthrow % All baf- 
fled and defeated ; and their schemes 
have all come to naught' So the apos- 
tle uses the same language in regaid to 
the boasted wisdom of the world in re- 
ference to salvation. It is all baffled^ 
and is all shown to be of no value. 
1 The wise (^cfo;). The sage. At 
first the Greek men of learning were 
called toise men (repot), like the ma* 
gians of the East They afterwards 
assumed a more modest appellation, 
and called themselves the lovers of t&ts- 
dom t^offfr^u), or philosophers. This 
was the name by which they were com- 
monly known in Greece, in the time 
of Paul. ^ Where is the scribe ? 
(^gat^^jtTf^r). The scribe among the 
Jews was a learned man, originally em- 
ployed in transcribing the law, but sub- 
sequently the term came to denote a 
learned man in general Among the 
Greeks the word was used to denote a 
public notary ; or a transcriber of the 
laws ; or a secretary. It was a terqi, 
therefore, nearly synonymous with a 
man of learning ; and the apostle evi- 
dently uses it in this sense in this 
place. Some have supposed that he 
referred to the Jewish men of learning 
here ; but he probably had reference to 
the Greeks. ^ Where is the disputer 
of this fvorld ? The acute and subtle 
sophist of this age. The word dia-- 
puter (<rv(»nn»()i properly denotes one 
who inquires careftilly into the oauses 


A. D. 69.] 


the dispiiter of this world ? hath 
not God made foolish ' the wis- 
dom of this world ? 

' a l8a.44i2S. 

and relations of thingpi ; one who is a 
subtle and abstruse investigator. It was 
applied to the ancient sophists and dis- 
putants in the Greek academies; and 
the apostle refers, doubtless, to them. 
The nieaning ib, that in all their pro- 
fessed investigations, in aQ their subtle 
and abstruse inquiries, ihej had failed 
of ascertaining the way in which man 
could be saved ; and that God had de- 
Vised a plan which had baffled all their 
wisdom, and in which their philosophy 
was disregarded. The term tverld, here 
(iiCfOi), refers, probably, not to the world 
as a physical structure— though Grotius 
supposes that it does — ^but to that age 
^ — Ihe disputer of that age, or genera^ 
tion— an age eminently wise and leam- 
edJ ^ Hath not God made foolish, 
6cc That is, has he not by the origin- 
ality and superior efficacy of his plan 
of »Edvation, poured contempt on all the 
schemes of philosophers, and evinced 
their folly 1 Not only without the aid 
of those schemes of men, but in oppo- 
sition to them, he has devised a plan 
for human salvation that evinces its 
efficacy and its wisdom in the conver- 
sion of sinners, and in destroying the 
power of wickedness. Paul here, pos- 
sibly, had reference to the language in 
Isa. xliv. 25. God ** tumeth wise men 
backward, and maketh their knowledge 

21. For after ihc^ (irtJii), Since ; 
or seeing that it is true that the world 
hy wisdom knew not God. Alter all 
the experience of the world it was 
ascertained that men wpuld never by 
their own wisdom come to the true 
knowledge of God, and it pleased him 
to devise another plan for salvation. 
t In the ujisdom of God. This phrase 
is susceptible of two interpretations. 
(1.) The first makes it refer to « the 
wisdom of God" evinced in the woiks 
of creation — ^the demonstration of his 


21 For * after that, in the wis- 
dom of God, the world by wis- 
dom knew not God, it pleased 

b Lake 10.21.»,22,aa 

existence and attributes found there, 
and, according to that, the apostle means 
to say, that the^ world by a survey of 
the works of God diSl not know him ; 
or were, notwithstanding those works, 
in deep darkness. This interpietatioa 
is adopted by most commentators-«by 
Lighffoot, Rosendaiiller, Grotius, Cdvin, 
&c. According to this interpretatioii, 
the word » (in) is to be transited by a 
through, (2.) A second interpreta- 
tion makes it refer to the wise arrange- 
ment or government of God, by which 
this was permitted. *For when, by 
the wise arrangement or government 
of God; after a full and feir trial 
of the native, unaided powers oS 
man, it was ascertained that the 
true knowledge of God would not be 
arrived at by man, it pleased him,' 
&c This appears to be the correct 
interpretation, because it is the most 
obvious one, and because it suits ^ 
connexion best It is, according to 
this, a reason why Goii^ introdu^ a 
new method of saving men. This 
may be said to have been aocompUshed 
by a plan of God, which was t&tM, 
because, (1.) It was desirable that the 
powers of man should be fitUy tried 
before the new plan was introduced, in 
order to show that it was not depend- 
ent on human wisdom, that it was not 
originated by man, and that there was 
really need of such an interposition. 
(2.) Because sufficient time had been 
furnished to make the experiment. 
An opportunity had been given for four 
thousand years, and still it had failed. 
(3.) Because the experiment had been 
made in the most fevourable drcum- 
stances. The human fecnlties had had 
time to ripen and expand ; one genera* 
tion had had an opportunity of profit* 
ing by the observation of its predeces- 
sor; and the most mighty minds had 
been brought to bear on the subjeet 



Ood bj the foolishness of preach- 
ing to save them that believe. 
22 For the Jews require a 

If the sages of the east, and the pro- 
Iband philosophers of the west, had not 
been able to come to the tnje knowledge 
of God, it was in vain to hope that more 
profound minds fiould be brought to 
bear on it, or that more careful in- 
vestigation would be bestowed on it. 
The experiment had been fiurly made, 
and the result was before the world. 
(Bee Notes on Rom. i. ^ 7%e tuorld. 
The men of the world ; particularly 
the philosophers of the world. ^ By 
wiadom. By their own wisdom, or by 
the united investigations of the works 
«f nature. ^ Knew not God, Ob- 
tained not a true knowledge of him. 
Some denied his existence; some re- 
presented him under the fidse and 
abominable forma of idol wontbip; 
some ascribed to him horrid attributes ; 
off showed that they had no true ac- 
^aintanoe with a God of purity, with 
a God who could pardon sin, or whose 
worship conduced to holiness of life. 
See Notes, Rom. L * ^ It pleased God, 
God was disposed, or well pleased. The 
plan of salvation originated in his good 
pleasure, and was such as his wisdom 
approved* God ehoae this plan, so un- 
like all the plans of men. ^ By the 
fooUahnesB of preaching. Not ** by 
ioolish preaching,'' but by the preach- 
ing of the croas, which was regarded 
aa foolish and absurd by the men of the 
world. The plan is wise, but it has 
been esteemed by the mass of men, 
and was particularly so esteemed b^ 
the Greek philosophers, to be egregi- 
OQsly foolish and ridiculous. See 
Note, ver. 18. ^ To sane them that he- 
Ueoe, That believe in the Lord Jesus 
Christ. See Note, Mark xvi. 16. This 
was the peculiarity and easence of the 
plan of God, and this has appeared to 
the mass of men to be a plan devoid 
of wisdom and unworthy of God. 
The preaching of the cross which is 
^Qs esteemed foolishness, is made the 

[A. D. 69. 

sign, * and the Greeks seek after 
wisdom : 

a ]!IIstU2.38,fcc 

means of saving them, because it aets 
forth God's only plan of mercy, and 
states the way in which lost sinners 
may become reconciled to God. 

22. For the Jeioa require a aigtu 
A miracle, a prodigy, an evidence of 
divine interposition. This was the cluu 
racteristic of the Jewish people. God 
had manifested himself to them by 
miracles and wonders in a renuu[kable 
manner in past times, and they greatly 
prided themselves on that fact, and 
always demanded it when any new 
messenger came to them, professing to 
be sent from God. This propensity 
Aey often evinced in their intercourse 
with the Lord Jesus. Matt xil 3d; 
xvi. 1. Mark viiL 11. Lake xi. 16; 
xii. 54 — 56. Many MSS., instead <^ 
** sign" here in the singular, read signs 
in the plural ; and Griesbach has intro- 
duced that reading into the text The 
sense is nearly the same, and it means 
that it was a characteristic of the Jews 
to demand the constant exhibition of 
miracles and wonders; and it is also 
implied here, I think, by the reasoning 
of the apoeUe, that they believed that 
the communication of such signs to 
them as a people, would secure their 
salvation, and they therefore despised 
the simple preaching of a crucified 
Messiah. They expected a Messiah that 
should come with the exhibition of soma 
stupendous signs and wondera from 
heaven (Matt xii. 38, dfc. as above); 
they looked for the displays of amaz- 
ing power in his coming, and they an- 
ticipated that he would deliver them 
from their enemies by mere power; 
and they, therefore, were ^eatly offend- 
ed (ver. 23) by the simple doctrine of 
a crucified Messiah. ^ And the Greeks^ 
&C. Perhaps this means the heathen 
in general, in opposition to the Jews. 
Note, Rom. L 16. It was, however, 
peculiarly the characteristic of the 
Greek ^lilosophera. They seek Sat 

A. D. 59.] 



23 But we preach Christ cru- 
cified, unto the Jews a stumbling- 

fldiemes of philosophy and religion that 
shall depend on humaii wisdom, and 
they therefore despise the gospel. 

33. But uue. We who are Chris- 
tian preachers make Christ crudfied 
^e grand subject of our instructions 
and our aims in contradistinction from 
the Jew and the Greek. T%ey seek, 
the one miracles, the other wisdom, 
we glory only in the cross. ^ Christ 
erueified. The word Christ, the an- 
ointed, is the same as the Hebrew 
name Messiah. The emphasis in this 
expression is on the word erueified. 
The Jews would make the Messiah 
whom they expected no less an object 
of glorifying than the apostles, but 
they spurned the doctrine that he was 
to be erxicifitd* Yet in that the apos- 
tles boasted ; proclaiming him crucified, 
or having been crucified as the only 
hope of man. This must mean more 
than that Christ was distinguished « for 
moral worth, liiore than that he died as 
a martyr ; because if that were all, no 
reason could be given why the cross 
should be made so prominent an object 
It must mean that Christ wa9 crucified 
for the sins of men, as an stoning 
sacrifice in the place of nnners. * We 
proclaim a crucified Messiah as the only 
redeemer of lost men.' Y To the Jews 
a stumbling'block. The word stumb- 
Ung-block {<nuiy^!0\.ov) means properly 
any thing in the way over which one 
may fall; then any thing that gives 
cffence^ or that causes one to fall into 
sin. Here it means that to the Jews, 
the doctrine that the Messiah was to 
be crucified gave great offence; ex- 
dted, irritated, and exasperated diem ; 
that they could not endure the doctrine, 
and treated it with scorn. Corap. 
Note, Rom. ix. 33. 1 Pet ii. 8. It is 
well known that to the Jews no doc- 
trine was more offensive than this, that 
the Messiah was to be put to death, 
and that there was to be salvation in no 
other way. It was so in the times of 
the apostles, and it has been so since. 

block, * aod unto the Greeks 
foolishness ; 

a ba 8.14. lPet.2.a 

They have, therefore, osually called the 
Lord Jesus, by way of derision ii^^n 
Toilet, the man that was hanged^ that 
is, on a cross; and Christians their 
have usually denominated, for the 
same reason, «>Vn nsj; Ahdiod Tohn— 
servants of the man thai was hanged. 
The reasons of this feeling are obvious. 
(1.) They had looked for a magnificent 
temporal prince ; but the doctrine that 
their Messiah was crucified, dashed all 
their expectations. And they regarded 
it with contempt and scorn, just in pro* 
portion as their hopes had been elevated, 
and these high expectations cherished. 
(2.) They had the common feelings 
df all men, the native feelings of pride, 
and self-righteousness, by which they 
rejected the doctrine that we are de- 
pendent for salvation on one who was 
crucified. (3.) They regarded Jesus 
as one given oyer by God for an enor- 
mous attempt at imposition, as having 
been justly put to death; and the 
object of the, curse of the Almighty. 
Isa. liii. 4, "We did esteem him stricken, 
smitten OF Gon/* They endeavoured to 
convince themselves that he was the ob- 
ject of the divine dereliction and abhor- 
rence ; and they, therefore, rejected the 
doctrine of the cross with the deepest 
feelings of detestation. ^ To the 
Gree^, To the Gentiles in general. 
So the Syriac, the Vulgate, the 
Arabic, and the ^thiopic versions all 
read it The term Gfiek denotes all 
who were not Jews ; thus the phrase, 
^the Jews and the Greeks*' comr 
prehended the whole human fiimily. 
ver. 22. ^ FooUshness. See Note on 
ver., 18. They regarded it as folly, 
(1.) Because they esteemed ths whole 
account a fable, and an imposition; 
(2.) It did not accord with their own 
views of the way of elevating the con- 
dition ^ of man ; (3.) They saw no 
efficacy in the doctrine, no tendency 
in the statement that a man of humble 
birth was put to death in an ignomini- 
ous manner in Jodea, to make aien 



[A. D. 69. 

better, or to reoeive pardon. (4.) They 
had the common feelings of unrenewed 
human nature ; blind to the beauty of 
tiw character of Christ, and blind to the 
dengn of hia death ; and they therefore 
zegaided the whole statement as folly. 
We may remark here, that the feel- 
ings of the Jews and of the Greeks on 
Ihii subject, are the common feelings 
of men. Everywhere ainoers have 
the same views of the cross ; and every- 
where the human heart, if left to itself, 
rejects it, as either a stumbling-block, 
or as foUy. But the doctrine should 
be' preached, though it is an oflfenoe, 
and though it appears to be folly. It 
is the only hope of man; and by the 
preaching of the croas alone can sinneis 
be saved. 

24. But unto them whick art eaUed. 
To all true Christians. Note, ver. 9. 
% Both Jews and Greeks. Whether 
origi^a]ly of Jewish or Gentile extrac- 
tion, they have here a common, similar 
view of the crucified Saviour. % Christ 
the power of God, Christ appears to 
them as the power of €rod ; or it is 
through him that the power of salva- 
tion is communicated to thenu Note, 
▼er. 18. Y And the wisdom of God, 
The way in which Grod evinces his 
wisdom in the salvation of men. They 
aee the plan to be wise. They see that 
it 18 adapted to the end. They see it 
to be fitted to procure pardon; and 
sanctification, and eternal life. It is 
God's wise plan for the salvation of 
men ; and it is seen by those who are 
Christians, to be adapted to this end. 
They see that there is a beauty in his 
character; an excellency in his doc- 
trines; and an efficacy in his atone- 
ment, to secure their salvation.— We 
may remark on this verse^ (1.) That 
when men become Christians, their 
hearts are changed. The views of 
Christians are here represented as dia- 
metricaUy opposite to those of other 
men. To one class, Christ is a stum- 
bling-bkMsk ; to others, folly ; to Chiis- 

Christ the ■ power of God, and 

24 But unto them which are 
called, both Jews and Greeks, f the wisdom of God. 

a ver.18. 

tians he is full of beauty. But those 
views of the Christian, can be obtain- 
ed only by a change of heart And 
the change from regarding an object or 
being as fooHsfmess to regarding it aa 
full of boBiuty, must be a radical and 
a mighty change. (2.) All Christians 
have similar views of the Saviour. It 
matters not whether they were Jew or 
Greek; it matters not whether they 
were bom in a northern or southern 
clime— ** whether aa Indian or an 
African sun has burned uponlhem ;" 
whether they speak the same or di£kr« 
ent languages ; whether they were bom 
amidst the same or difierent denomina- 
tions of Christians; whether in. the 
same or different countries; or whether 
they are men in the same or different 
Christian communities, they have th6 
same views of the Saviour. They see 
him to be the power an^ the vrisdom 
of God. They are united in him, and 
therefore united to each other; and 
should regard themselves as belonging 
to the same femily, and as bound to 
the same eternal home. (3.^ There is 
reed efficacy in the plan of salvation. 
It is a schcSme of power. It is adapted 
to the end, and is admirably fitted to 
accomplish the gceat effects which God 
designs to accomplish. It is not a 
scheme intended to show its own im* 
becility, and the need of another and 
an independent agent to accomplish 
the work. All the effects which the 
Holy Ghost produces on the soul, are 
such, and only such, as the troth of 
the gospel is adapted to produce in the 
mind. The gospel is God's plan of 
putting forth power to save men. It 
seizes upon great elements in human 
nature ; and is adapted to enlist them 
in the service of God. It is just fitted 
to man as a being capable of reason- 
ing and susceptible of emotion ; as a 
being who may be influenced by hopo 
and fear ; who may be excited and im* 
polled to duty by consdence, and who 
may be ronsad from a stite of lethargy 

IF ■ » » • • 

A. D. 59.] 



25 Because Uie foolishness of 
God is wiser than men ; and the 
weakness of Qod is stronger 
than men. 

and sin by the prospect of eternal life, 
an4 the apprehension of eternal death. 
Ab 9uek it should always be preached 
—as a system wiset and adapted to the 
great end in view — as a system most 
powerful, and " mighty to the pulling 
down of strong holds." 
^ 25. Because the foolishness of God. 
That which God appoints, requires, 
commands, does, &c, which appears. to 
men to be foolish. The passage is not 
to be understood as affirming that it is 
really foolish or unwise; but that it 
appears so to men.— Periiaps the apo»- 
tie here refers to those parts of the di- 
vine administration where the wisdom 
of the plan is .not seen ; or where the 
reason of what God does is concealed. 
t Is wiser than men. Is better adapted 
to accomplish important ends, and more 
certainly effectual than the schemes of 
human wisdom. This is especially true 
of the plan of salvation — a plan appa- 
rently foolish to the mass of men — ^yet 
indaUtably accomplishing more for the 
renewing of men, and for the.r purity 
and happiness, than all the schdnes of 
human contrivance. They have ac- 
complished nothing towards men's sal- 
vation ; this accomplishes every thing. 
They have always failed; this never 
fiuls. Y 7%£ toeakness of God. There 
is really qo weakness in God, any more 
than there is folly. This must mean, 
therefore, the things of his appointment 
which appear weak and insufficient to 
accomplish the end. Such are these 
ftcts — that God should seek to save the 
world by Jesus of Nazareth, who was 
supposed unable to save himself (Matt 
xxvii. 40 — 43); and that he should 
expect to save men by the gospel, by 
its being preached by men who were 
without learning, eloquence, wealth, 
fiune, or power. The instruments were 
feeble; and men judged that tbu was 
owing to the weakness or want of 
power in the Grod who appointed them. 

26 For ye see your calling, 
brethren, ho.w that not * many 
wise men after the flesh, not 

a Zeph.3.12. Jiio.7.48. _ 

Y Jb stronger than men. Is able to 
accomplish more than the utmost might 
of men. The feeblest agency that God 
puts forth — so feeble as to be esteemed 
weakness — ^is able to efiect m<H'e than 
the utmost might of man. The apo» 
tie here refers particularly to the woriL 
of redemption ; but it is true every- 
where. We may remark, (1.) ThAt 
God often effects his mightiest plans by 
that which seems to men to be weak 
and evcu foolish. The most mighty 
revolutions arise often from the slightest 
causes; his most vast operations are 
often connected with very feeble means. 
The revolution of empires ; the mighty 
effects of the pestilence ; the advance- 
ment in the sciences, and arts, and the 
operations of nature, are often brought 
about by means apparently as H^tla 
fitted to accomplish the work as those 
which are employed in the plan of re* 
demption. (2.) God is great If his 
feeblest powers put forth, surpass the 
migl^tiest powers of man, how great 
must be lus might If the powers of 
man who rears works of art; who 
levels mountains and elevates vales; 
if the power which reared the pyra- 
mids, be as nothing when compared 
with the feeblest putting forth of divine 
power, how mighty must be hia arm ! 
How vast that strength which made^ 
and which upholds the rolling worlds ! 
How safe are his people in his hand ! 
And how easy for him to ccush all his 
foes in death ! 

26. For ye see your eaUing. Tou 
know the general character and condi- 
tion of those who are Christians among 
you, that they have not been generally 
taken from the wise, the rich, and the 
learned, but from humble lif^. The 
design of the apostle here is, to show 
that the gospel did not depend for itt 
success on human wisdom. His aigu 
ment is, that in fact those who went 
blessed by it had not been of the ele- 



[A. D. 59. 

many mighty, not many noble, 
are called: 

vated ranks of lUe mainly, but that Grod 
had shown bis power by choosing those 
who were ignorant, uid vicious, and 
abandoned, and by refonmng and pu- 
rifying tiieir lives. Tbe verb *<ye see" 
OSkism), is ambiguous, and way be 
either in the indicative mood, as our 
translators have rendered it, < ye do see ; 
you are well apprised of it, and know 
it,' or it may be in the imperative, <see; 
contemplate your condition;' but the 
sense is substantially the same.-^ Your 
ealUng (rilr «M0-<v) means * those who 
are called' (ver. 9) ; as << the drcnm- 
dflion" means those who are circom- 
dsed. Rom. iii. 30. The sense is, 
* look upon the condition of those who 
are Christians.' Y Nat many wi»e 
men. Not many who are regarded as 
wise ; or who are ranked with philoso- 
phers. This supposes that there were 
sof0e of that description, though the 
mass of Christians were then, as now, 
fiom more humble ranks of life. That 
there were aome of high rank and 
wealth at Corinth who became Chris- 
tiana, is well known. Criqpus and 
Sosthenes, rulera of the synagogue 
there (Acts xviii. 8. 17, compb 1 Cor. 
LI); Gaius, a rich, hoepitid>le man 
(Rom. zvL 23^ ; and Erastos the chan- 
cellor of the city of Corinth (Rom. xvL 
83), had been converted and were 
memben d the church. Some have 
supposed (Macknight) that this should 
be rendered < not many mighty, wise, 
&c call youi that is, God has not 
employed the wise and the learned to 
COM you into his kingdom.' But the 
sense in our translation is evidently the 
correct interpretation. It is the o6- 
vtotM sense ; and it agrees with the de- 
sign of the apostle, which was to show 
that God had not consulted the wis- 
dom, and power, and. wealth of men in 
Ihe establiiBhment of his chureh. So 
the Syriac and the Vulgate render it 
1 According to the fluh. According 
to the maxims and principles of a sen- 
siiil and worldly policy ; aecording to 

27 But God * hath chosen the 
foolish things of the world, to 


the views of men when under the in- 
fluence of those principles ; t. e. who 
are unrenewed. The flesh here stands 
opposed to the spirit ; the views of th« 
men of this world in oontradistinctioa 
from the wisdom that is from above. 
^ i^ many mighty. Not many men 
of power; or men sustaining import- 
ant offietB in the state. Comp; Rev. vi. 
16. The word may refer to those who 
wield power of any kind, whether de- 
rived from office, from rank, firom 
wealth, dec. Y Not many nobk. Not 
many of illustrious birth, or descended 
fix>m .illustrious fiimilies— «7#iic, toe/A 
bom. — ^In reqwct to each of these 
classes, the apostle does not say that 
there were no men of wealth, and 
power, and birth, but that the mass or 
body of Christians was not composed 
of such. They were made up of those 
who were in humble life. There were 
a few, indeed, of rank and property, aa 
there are now ; but then, as now, the 
great mass was composed of those who 
were fix>m the lower conditions of socie- 
ty. The reason why God had chosen hia 
people from that rank u stated in ver. 
29. — ^The character of many of those 
who composed the church at Corinth 
before the conversion, is stated in du 
vL 9 — 1 1, which see. 

27. But God hath ehoaen. The fact 
of their being in the church at all was 
the result of his choice. It was owing 
entirely to his grace. ^ T%e fooUA 
thinga. The things esteemed foolish 
among men. The expression here re- 
fera to those who were destitute of 
learning, rank, wealth, and power, 
and who were esteemed as fools, and 
were despised by the rich and the great* 
Y To confound. To bring to shame ; 
or that he might make them ashamed ; - 
t. e. humble them by showing them 
how Uttle he regarded their wisdom ; 
and how Uttle their wisdom contributed 
to the success of his cause. By thus 
overlooldng them, and bestowing his 
fiivoura on the bumble, and the poor ; 


A. D, 59.] 



confound the wise; and God 
hath chosen the weak things 
of the world, to confound the 

by choosing his people from the ranks 
which they despised, and bestowing 
on them the exalted privilege of 
being called the sons of God, he had 
poared dishonour on the riph and the 
great, and overwhelmed them, and 
their schemes of wisdom, with shame. 
It is also true, that those who are re- 
garded as fools by the wise men of the 
world are able often to confound those 
who boast of their wisdom ; and that 
the argument^ of plain toen, though 
unleained except in the school of 
Christ; of men of sound common 
sense under the influence of Christiau 

{>rinciplcs, have a force which the 
earning and talent of the' men <^ this 
world cannot gainsay or resist. They 
have truth on their side; an^ truth, 
though dressed in a humble garb, is 
more mighty than error^ though clothed 
with the brilliancy of imagination, the 
pomp of dedamatiun, and the cunning 
of sophistry. ^ And the weak things. 
Those esteemed weak by the men of 
the world. ^ The mighty. The great; 
the noble ; the learned. 
. 28. And base thingt of the w&rhL 
Thofe things which by the world are 
esteemed ignoble. Literally, ^ose 
which are not of noble, or illustrious 
fairth Qrd d^irn). ^ Things which are 
despised^ Those which the world re- 
ganls as objects of contempt. Comp. 
Mark ix. i2. Luke xviii. 19. Acts iv. 
11. ^ Yea. The introduction of this 
word by the translators does nothing to 
illustrate the sense, but rather enfeebles 
iL The language here is a striking in- 
stance of Paul's manner of expressing 
faimflelf with great strength* He desires 
to convey in the strongest terms, the 
fiid, that God had illustrated his plan 
by choosing the objects of least esteem 
Among men. He is willing to admit 
ail that could be said on this point. 
Hd says, therefore, that he had chosen 
the things of ignoble birth and rank — 
the base things of the world ; but this 
did not fully express his meaning. He 

things which are mighty ; 

218 And base things of the 
world, and things which 

had chosen objects of contempt among 
men ; but this was not strong enough 
to express his idea. He adds, thm- 
fore, that he had -chosen those things 
which were absolutely nothings wludi 
had no existence ; which could not be 
supposed to influencd him in his 
choice. Y And things which are not 
(ra fAu oyrtt). That whiqh is nothing; 
which is worthless ; which has no ex- 
istence ; those thinga which were be- 
low contempt itself; and which, in the 
estimation of the world, were passed. 
by as having no existence; as not 
having sufficient importance to be e»> 
teemed worthy even of the slight no- 
tice which is implied iii contempt. 
For a man who despises a thing most 
at least notice it, and esteem it worth 
some attention. But the apostle here 
speaks of things beneath even that 
slight notice ; as completely and totdly 
disregarded, as having no existence. 
The language here is evidently that of 
hypeibole (comp. Note, John xxL 26). 
U was a figure of speech common m 
the East, and not unusual in the sacred 
writings. Comp. Isa. xL 17. 

AH nations before hfrn are as nothing, 
AimI they are counted to him less than 
nothing and vanity. 

See also Rom. iv. 17, ''God, whiH— 
calleth those things which be not, as 
though they were." This language 
was strongly expressive of the estimate 
which the Jows fixed on the Grentilee« 
as. being a des{M8ed people, as being in 
fact no people ; a people without laws, 
and organization, and religion,- iind pri* 
vileges. See Hos. i. 10 ; ii. sis. Rom. 
ix; 25. 1 Pet ii. 10. « When a mac 
of rank among the Hindoos speaks of 
low-caste persons, of notorious profli- 
gates, or of those whom he despises, 
he calls them aila'iha^varkal, i.e. those 
who are not. The term does not refer 
to life or existence, but to a quality or 
disposition, and is applied to those who 
are viU and. abominable in all things. 
I 'My son, ay son, go not among thiun 



[A. D. 59. 

despised, hath God chosen, yea, 
and things which are not, to 
bring to naught things that are ; 

toAo art noV 'Alas! alas! those 
people are all aUa4htMH>rkaL* When 
wicked men prosper, it ia aaid, * this is 
tiM time for those who are n&t, 'Have 
you heard that those who are not are 
now acting righteously V Vulgar and 
indecent expressions are also called, 
' words that are not.' To address men 
in the phrase (O'e nott is provoking be- 
yond measure."— i2oW/<, as quoted in 
Bush's Illustrations of Scripture. Y To 
bring to naught. To humble and sub- 
due. To show them how vain and 
impotent they were. ^ Things thai 
are. Those who on account of their 
noble birth, high attainments, wealth, 
and rank, placed a high estimate on 
themselves and despised others. 

29. That no flesh. That no men ; 
no class of men. The vrotA flesh is often 
thus used to denote men. Matt xziv. 
22. Luke iii. 6. John xvii. 2. Acts ii. 
17. 1 Pet i. 24, dec. ^ Should ghry. 
Should boast Rom. iiL 27. ^ In' his 
presence. Before him. That man 
should reaUy have nothing of which 
to boast; but that the whole scheme 
should be adq>ted to humble and sub- 
due him. On these verses we may ob- 
serve, (1.) That it is to be expected 
that the great mass of Christian con- 
verts will be found among those who 
are of humble life— and it may be ol>- 
sferved also, that true virtue and ex- 
cellence; stnoerity and amiablenesS; 
honesty and sincerity, are usually found 
there also. (2.) That while the mass 
of Christians are found there, there are 
also those of noble birth, and rank, and 
wealth, who become Christians. The 
aggregate of those who from elevated 
ranks and distinguished talents have 
become Christians, has not been small. 
It is sufficient to refer to such names 
as Pascal, and Bacon, and Boyle, «nd 
Newton, and Locke, and Hale, and 
Wilberforce, to show that. religion can 
command the homage of the most illus- 
trious genius and rank. (3.) The rea- 

29 That • no flesh should 
glory in his presence. 

30 But of him are ye in * 

a Bom^jaZ. h 2Cor^.l7. Epli.1.3,10. 

sons why those of rank and wealth do 
not become Christians, are many and 
obvious, (a) They are beset with 
peculiar temptations, (h) They are 
usually satisfied with rank and wealth, 
and do not feel their need of a hope of 
heaven, (c) They are surrounded 
with objects which flatter their vanity, 
which minister to their pride, and 
which throw them into the circle of 
alluring and tempting pleasures. (<f ) 
They are drawn away from the means 
of grace and the places of prayer, by 
fashion, by business, by temptatioa. 
(«) There is something about the pride 
of learning and philosophy, which 
usually makes those who possess it 
unwilling to sit at the feet of Christ ; 
to acknowledge their dependence on 
any power; and to confess that they 
are poor, and needy, and blind, and 
naked before God. (4.) The gospel 
is designed to produce humility, and- to 
place all men on a level in regard to 
salvation. There is no royal way to 
the favour of God. No monarch is 
saved because he is a monarch; no 
philosopher because he is a philo- 
sopher; no rich man because he is 
rich; no poor man because he is 
poor. All are placed on a level. AU 
are to be saved in the same way. All 
are to become willing to give the entire 
glory to God. All are to acknowledge 
him as providing the plan, and as fttr- 
nishing the grace that is needful for 
salvation. God's design is to bring 
down the pride of man, and to pro- 
duce everywhere a willingness to ac- 
knowledge him as the fountain of 
blessings and the Crod of all. 

30. But of him. That is, by hia 
agency and power. It is not by phi- 
losophy; not from ourselves; but by 
his mercy. The apostle keeps it pTx>- 
minently in view, that it was not of 
their philosophy, wealth, or rank that 
they had been raised to these privi 
leges, but of God as the author. \ Are 


•' '\' « I 



A. D. 59.] 


Christ Jesvm, who of God is 
made' Unto us * wisdom, and 


ye. Ye are what you are by the mercy 
of Grod. 1 Cor. XV. 10. You owe 
your hopes to Mm.^ . The emphasis in 
this verse is to be placed on this ex- 
pression, "are ye." You are Chris- 
tians, not by the agency of man, but 
bgr the agency of Qod. ^ In Christ 
Je$u9* Note, ver. 4. By the me- 
dium, or through the work of Christ, 
Ifais mercy has been conferred on you. 
5 Wio of God. From God {^are dww). 
Christ is given to va by God, or ap- 
pointed by him to be our wisdom, &c. 
God originated the scheme, and God 
gave him for this «nd. ^ Wisdom. 
That is, he is to jis the source of wis- 
dom ; it is by him that we are made 
wise. This cannot mean that his wis- 
dom becomes strictly and properly 
oun; that it is set over to- us, and 
reckoned as our own, for that is not 
true. Bat it must mean simply, that 
Christians have become truly wise ^by 
the agency, the teaching, and the work 
of Christ Philosophers had attempted 
to become wise by their own investiga- 
tions and inquiries. But Christians 
had become vrise by the work of 
Christ ; that is, it had been by his in- 
structions that they had been made 
iicquainted with the true character of 
God; with his law; with their own 
condition; and with the great truth 
diat there was a glarious immortality 
beyond the grave. None of these 
truths had been obtained by the inves- 
tigations of philosophers, but by the 
instructions of Christ In like man- 
ner it was that through him they had 
been made practically wise unto salva- 
tionT Comp. CoL ii. 3, " In whom are 
hid all the treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge.!' He is the great agent by 
which we become truly wise. Christ 
10 often represented as eminently wise, 
and as the source of all true wisdom to 
his people. Isa. xi. 1. Matt xiii. 54. 
Luke iL 40. 53. 1 Cor. L 24 ; ui. 10. 
** Ye are wise in Christ" Many com- 


righteoasaess, * sanctificatioiit * 
and redemption:' 

b lia^.34. JvSlSJSfi. Boiil4.96. e JnoLm 


mentators have supposed that the beav- 
tiful description of wisdom, in Prov. viiK 
is applicable to the Messiah. Chriak 
may be said to be made wisdom to ns, 
or to c<nnmunicate wisdom, (1.) Be- 
cause he has in his own ministry in- 
structed us in the true knowledge of 
God,^and of those gr^at truths which 
pertain to our salvation. (2.) Becauso 
he -has by his word and spirit led us t<» 
see our true situation, and made vm 
**W]se unto salvation.'* He has turned vm 
from the ways of folly, and incUned vm 
to walk in the path of 'true wisdom. 
(3.) Because he is to his people now 
the source of wisdom. He enlightaoi 
their mind in the time of perplexity t 
guides them in the way of truth ; and 
leads them in the path of real knoww 
ledge. It often happens that obscure 
and ignorant men, who have been 
taught in the school of Christ, have 
more true and real knowledge of that 
which concerns their welfare, and evinoa 
more reid practical wisdom, than cttn 
be learned in all the schools of philoso- 
phy and learning on the earth. It la 
wise for a sinful and dying creature to 
prepare for eternity. But none but 
those who are instructed by the Son of 
God, become thus wise. ^ And right* 
eousness. By whom we become rights 
eous in the sight of God. This decla- 
tion simply affirms that we become 
righteous through him, as it is affirmed 
that we become wise, sAictifiod, and 
redeemed through him. But neither 
of the expressions determine anr 
thing as to the modt by which it m 
done. The leading idea of the apostle^ 
which should never be lost sight of, is 
that the Greeks by their philosophy did 
not become truly wise, righteous, sano- 
tified, and redeemed ; but that this w«a 
accomplished through Jesus Christ.' 
But in what way this was done, or by 
what process or mode, is not hera 
stated ; and it should be no mova 
assumed from this text that we becama 


[A. D. ». 

i%* H mw by fteimpntatiMi of Cluwt*8 
fighteousness, than it fAiould be that we 
teeame wiae by the imputation ai his 
wiadoin, and sanctified by the imputa- 
tfon of his hotiness. If this passage 
would prore one of these points, it 
' WQuM prove all. But as it is absurd 
to say that we became wise by the im- 
putation of the personal wisdom of 
C%rist, so this passage should not be 
'brought to prove that we became right- 
eous by the imputation of his righteous- 
' ness. Whatever may be the truth of 
tiiat doctrine, this passage does not 
prove it By turning to other parts of 
the New Testament to learn in what 
way we are made righteous through 
Christ, or in what way he is made unto us 
- righteousness; we mum that it is in two 
modes, (1.) Because it is by his merits 
lAone that our sins are pardoned, and 
we are justified, and treated as right- 
"eous (see Note, Rom. iii. 26, 27); and 
(2.) Because by his influence, and 
work, and spirit, and truth, we are made 
' personally holy in the sight of Ood. 
The former is doubtless "tiie thing in- 
tended here, as sanctification is specified 
^ after. The apostle here refers simply 
' to the fact, without specifying the 
mode in which it is done. That is to 
be learned from other parts of the New 
Testament Gomp. Note, Rom. iv. 2.5. 
' The doctrine of justification is, that 
God regards and treats those as right- 
eous who believe on his Son, and who 
' are pardoned on account of what he 
has don0^ and suffered. The several 
steps in the process may be thus stated. 
(1.) The sinner is by nature exposed 
to tl» wrath of God. He is lost and 
ruined. He has no merit of his own. 
He has violated a holy law, and that 
law condemns him, and he has no 
power to make an atonement or repa- 
ration. He can never be pronounced 
9JuH man on his oWn merits. He can 
never vindieate his conduct, as a man 
can do in a court of justice where he is 
' unjustly accused, and so be pronounced 
Just (2.^ Jesus Christ has taken the 
sinner's place, and died in his stead. 
He has honoured a broken law ; he 
has rendered it consistelit for God .to 

pardon. By hk dseaOftd sttlfetiBga, 
endured in the sinner^ flaoe, God 
has shown "his hatred of sin, and hu 
willingness to forgive. . His truth will 
be vindicated, and hiii law honoured, 
and his govermneint secured, if mm 
he shafi pardon the offender when 
penitent As he endured these sorrows 
for o^ers, and not for himself they can 
be ao reckoned, and are so judged by 
God. All the beneJUa or reBidt* of 
that atonement^ therefore, as it was 
made for others, can be applied to 
them, and aH the advantage of such 
substitution in their place, can be made 
over to them, as really as when a man 
pays a note of hand for « friend ; or 
when he pays for another a ransoso. 
The price is reckoned as paid for Hiem, 
and the h€nejit9*fiim to the debtor and 
the captive. It is not reckoned that 
the^ paid it, for that is not true; but 
that it was done fir them, and the 
benefit may be theirs, whfeh is true. (8.) 
God has been pleased to promise diat 
these benefits may be conferred on hhn 
who believes in die Saviour. The 
sinner is united by faith to the Lord 
Jesus, and is so adjudged, or redioned. 
God esteems at judges him to be a 
believer according, to the prom^ise.. 
And so believing, and so repenting, he 
deems it consistent to pardon and justi- 
fy him who is so united to his Son by , 
faith. ' He is justified, not by the oet 
of foith ; not by any merits of his own, 
bat by the merits of Christ He has 
no other ground, and no other hope. 
Thus he is in fiet a pardoned uid 
justified man ; and God so reckons and 
judges. Crod's law is honoured, and 
the sinner is pardoned and saved ; and 
it is now as consistent for God to treat 
him as a righteous man, as it would be 
if he had never sinned — cance there is 
as high honour shown to the law of 
God, as there would have been had he 
been personally obedient, or had lie 
peraonally suffered its penalty. And 
as^ through the death of Christ, the 
same results are secured in upholding 
God's moral government as would he 
by his condemnation, it is consistent and 
proper for God to feiigive him and treat 

A*D. 69.] ^ 

51 That, according a«. it is 


— ■ *■■ «ii iiii 

hiiB as a rigbtcioiKi man ; and to do to 
accords with the infinite benevolenoe 
of bis heart. ^ And sanetification. 
By him we are sanctified or made holy. 
This does not mean, evidently, that his 
personal holinesi is reckoned to us, but 
that by his work applied to our hearts, 
we become personally sanctified or 
holy. Comp. Eph. iv. 24. This is 
done by the agency of his spirit apply- 
ing truth to the mind (John xvit. 19), 
by the aid which he furnishes in trials, 
temptations, and conflicts, and by the 
influence of hope in sustaining, elevat- 
ing and purifying the soul. AH the 
truth that is employed to sanctify, was 
taught primarily by him ; and all the 
means that may be used aie the pur- 
chase of his death, and are under his 
direction; and the Spirit by whose 
ageney Christians are sanctified, was 
sent into the world by hini^ and in an- 
swer to his prayers. John xiv. 16; xv.2l6. 
If And redemption (jSifrokuref^tc)- For 
tiie meaning of this word, see Note, 
Rom. iu. 24. Here it is evidently used 
in a larger sense ihan it is commonly 
in the New Testament The things 
which are specified above, '< justifica- 
tion and sanctification/* are a part of 
the wor^ of redemption. Probably 'the 
word is used here in a wide sense, 
as denoting the whole group, at class 
of influences by which we are 
brought at last to heaven ; so that the 
" apostle refers not only to his atonement, 
but ttvthe work by which we are in 
fact redeemed firom death, and made 
happy in heaven. Thus in Kom. viii 
23, the word is applied to the resur- 
rectionr " the redemption of the body.'' 
The sense is, * it is by Christ that we 
are redeemed ; by him that an atone- 
ment is made ; by him that we are par- 
doned; by him that we are delivered 
' firom the dominion of sin, and the 
^ |K>wer of our enemies ; and by him 
i that we shall be rescued from the 
J grave, and raised up to everlasting 
I life.' Thus the whole worl^ depends 


written, ■ He that glorieth, let 
him glory in tKe Lord. * 

■ ' — ■' ■ " ■■ ■ ' ' ■ • • ' t — ' ■ '■■ 

on him ; and no part of it is to be 
ascribed to the philosophy; the talent, 
or the wisdom of men. He does not 
merely aidxiB; he does not complete 
that which is imperfect ; he does not 
come in to do a part of the work, or tQ 
supply our defects ; but it is all to he'* 
tXBioBd to him. See CoL ii. 10, ** And 
ye are complete in him." 

31. As tt isT written. This is evi- 
dently a qi^otation made from Jer. iz. 
23, 24. It is not made literally ; but 
the apostle has condensed the sense of 
the prophet into a few words, and has 
retained essentially his idea. ^ He 
that glorieth. He that boaste or ex- 
ults. ^ In the Lord.. Not ascribing 
his salvation to human abilities, or 
learning, or rank, but entirely to God. 
And from this we see, (1.) That the 
design of the plan of salvation is to 
exalt God in view of the mind. (2.) 
That the design is to make us humble ; 
and this is the decdgn also of all his 
works no less than of the plan of sal- 
vation. All just views of the creation 
tend to produce true humili^. (3.) It is 
an evidence of piety when we are thus 
disposed to exalt God, and to be hum- 
ble. It shows that the heart is changed ; 
and that we are truly disposed to 
honour him. (4.) We may rejoice in 
Crod. We have no strength,- and no 
righteousness of which to boast ; but 
we may rejoice in him. He is full of 
goodness and mercy. He is able to 
Save us. He can redeem us out of the 
hand of all our enemies. And when 
we are conscious that we are poor, and 
feeble, and helpless; when oppressed 
with a sense of sin, we may rejoice in 
him as our God ; and exult in him as 
our Saviour and Kedeemer. True piety 
will delight to come and lay eve^ 
thing at his feet; and whatever may 
be . our rank, or talent, or learning, we 
shall rejoice to come with the temper 
of the humblest child of poverty, and 
sont>w, and want, and to say, **not 
unto US, not onto us, but unto thy ' 




[A. D. 09. 


ND I, brethren, when I came 
to you, came not * with ex- 

a Ter.4,13. 

nune give dory for thjrmercy, and for 
thy truth's sake.'' Ps. cxv. 1. 

^Kot to our names, thou only just and trae, 
Kot to our worthless names is glory due ; ' 
Thy power and grace, thy truth and justice 

Inmortal iMuoitrB to thy sovereign name." 



Thx design of diis chapter is the 
Mtme as the concluding part of ch. i. 
(ver. 17—31), to show that the gospel 
docs not depend for its success on hu- 
man wisdom, or the philosophy of men. 
This position the apostle further con- 
firms, (1.) ver. l-*-5, By a reference to 
Ids own example, as having been suc- 
cessful among them, and yet not en- 
dowed with the graces of elocution, or 
by a commanding address; yet (2.) 
Lest it should be thought that the gos- 
pel was real folly, and should be con- 
temned, he shows in the remainder of 
ihe chapter (ver. 6 — 16), that it con- 
tained true wisdom ; that it was a pro- 
found scheme — rejected, indeed, by the 
men of the world, but seen to be wise 
1^^ those who were made acquainted 
with its real nature and value, ver. 

The first division of the chapter 
(ver. 1—5), is a continuation of the 
argrument to show that the success of 
the gospel does not depend on human 
wisdom or philosophy. This he proves, 
(1.) By the fact that when he was 
among them, though his preaching was 
attended with success, yet he did not 
eome with the attractions of human 
eloquence, ver. 1. (2.) This was in 
accordance with his purpose, not dc- 
Mgning to attempt any thing like that, 
but having another object, ver. 2. (3.) 
In fact he had not evinced that, but the 
contrary, ver. 3, 4. (4.) His design 
was that their conversion should not 
nqppear to have been wrought by hu- 
man wisdom or eloquence, but to have 

eellency of speech or of wisdom, 
declaring unto you the testimony 
of God. 
2 For I determined not to 

been manifestly the work of God. 
ver. 5. 

1. And I, brethren. Keeping up the 
tender and affectionate style of address, 
^ When J came unto you. When I 
came at first to preach the gospel at 
Corinth. Acts xviii. 1, &c. ^ Came 
not with exceUeney of speech. Came 
not with graceful and attractive elo- 
quence. The apostle here evidently 
alludes to that nice and studied choice 
of language ; to those gracefully formed 
sentences, and to that skill of arrange- 
ment in discourse and argument which 
was so much an object of regard with 
the Greek rhetoricians. It is probable 
that Paul was never much distinguish 
ed for these (comp. 2 Cor. x. 10), and 
it is certain he never made them an 
object of intense study and solicitude. 
Comp. ver. 4. 13. ^ Or of wisdom. 
Of the wisdom of this world ; of that 
kind of wisdom which was sought and 
cultivated in Greece. ^ The testimony 
of God, The testimony or the wit« 
nessing which God has borne to the 
gospel of Christ by miracles, apd by at- 
tending it everywhere with his pre- 
sence and blessing. In ver. 6, the 
gospel is cfllled **the testimony of 
Christ ;" and here it may either mean 
the witness which the gospel bears to 
the true character and plans of God ; 
or the witnessing which God had borne 
to the gospel by miracles, &,c. The 
gospel contains the testimony of God 
in regard to his own character and 
plans ; especially in regard to the great 
plan of redemption through Jesus 
Christ. Several MSS. instead of ** tes- 
timony of God," here read " the mys- 
tery of God." This would accord well 
with the scope of the argument; but 
the present reading is probably the cor- 
rect one. See Mill. The Syriac ver> 
sion has also mystery, 

2. For I determined, 1 made a lo* 




I^IMT^ a»7 ifaiitgiunoiig you, save 

solution. This was my fixed, deliberate 
purpose when I came there. It was 
not a matter of accident, or ehanoe, 
that I made Christ my great and con- 
stant theme, bat it was . my deliberate, 
pnrpose. It is to be reooQccted that 
Paul made this resolntion, knowing the 
peenliar fondness of the Greeks for 
subtle disquisitionB, and for graceful and 
finished elocution ; that he forpied it 
when his own mind, ad we may judge 
firbm his writings, was strongly inclined 
by nature to an abstruse uid metaphy- 
sical kind of discussion, which conld 
not have foiled to attract the attention 
of the aoute and subtle reascmers of 
Greece ; and that he made it when he 
must have been folly aware that the 
them& whicfi he had chosen to dwell 
upon would be certain to excite deri- 
sion and contempt. Yet he formed, 
and adhered to this resolution, though 
it might expose him to contempt ; and 
though tiiey might reject and despise 
his message, f Noi to know. The 
word know here (v^fjtt) is used pro- 
bably in the sense of aitend to, be en- 
gaged in, or regfanf. I resolved not to 
give my time and attention white 
among yon to the laws' and traditions 
of the Jews ; to your orators, philoso- 
phers, and poets; to the beauty of 
your architecture or statuary; to a 
contemplation of your customs and 
laws, but to iUiend to this only — 
making known ther cross of Christ. 
The word («^«) to know, is sometimes 
thus used. Paul says that he designed 
that this should be the only thing on 
which his mind should be fixed ; the 
only object of his attention ; the only 
dgeet on which he there sought that 
knowledge should be diffused. Dod- 
dridge renders it *< appear to know.'' 
% Any thing among you» Any thing 
while I was with yon. Or, any thing 
that may exist among you, and that 
may be objects of interest to yon. I 
reserved to know nothing of it, what- 
ever it might be. The former id, pro- 
iMbly, the conect interpretation. 5 'SSoM 


'Jesus Christ, atidhim craeified. 

Jesus Christ. Except Jesus C^urisl» 
This is the only thing of which I paw 
posed is have any knowledge aneag 
yoo. K And him erueified. Or, 'esm 
(hm) him that was cnKsified.'';,nJiM9> 
solved not only fo make the Mesdmk^ 
grand object of his knowM||;e and at- 
tention there, hot byjut a erSffied Me»> 
siah ; to maintain the doctrine that the 
Messiah was to be crucified for the sins 
of the worid ; and that he who had 
been crucified was in fact the Messiah. 
See Note, ch, L 23. We may remaili 
here, (I.) That this shoi^ be the re> 
solution of every minister of the gO(^ 
pel. T|iis is has business. It is not 
to be a poKtician ; not to engage in the 
strifes and controveraes of men ; it is 
not to be a good former, or scholar 
merely ; not to mingle with his peopte 
in festive circles and enjoyments; im 
to be a man of taste and philosophyy 
and distinguished mainly for lefinement 
of manners ; not to be a profound phi- 
loBopher or metaphysician, but to make 
Christ crucified the grand object of his 
attention, and seek always and every- 
where to lUake him known. (2.) He 
is not to be ashamed anywhere of. the 
humbling doctrine that Christ was era* 
cified. In this he is to glory. Though 
the world may ridicule ; though phil4>* 
sophers may sneer; thouf^ the ridl 
and the gay may deride it, yet this is 
to be the grand object of interest lo 
him, and at no time, and tn no soeie^ 
is fie to be ashamed of it (3.) ft 
matters not what ara the amusements 
of society i^oond him ; what fields ol 
science, of gain, or amhitfon« are opes 
befofe him, the mtnisler of Christ is Ao 
know Christ and him crucified alonsb 
If he cnkivates science, it is to be that 
he may the more snccessfolly explain 
and vindicate the gospeL If he b^ 
comes in any manner famtliar with the 
woiks of art, and of taste, it is that 
he may Riore*8uecessfony show to those 
who cultivate them, the superior beaolj 
and excellency of the eioss. If he 
studies (he pbms and the emplogmittDii 




[A. D. 69. 

i And I was with you in 
weakness, and in fear, and in 
uuch trembling. 

of men, it is that he may more aoccefls- 
fttlly meet them in those plans, and 
more, snccessfully speak to them of the 
great* plan of redemption (4.) The 
preaching of the cross is the only kind 
of preaching that will be attended with 
•access. That which has in it much 
respecting the divine mission, the dig- 
nity, the works, the doctrines, the per- 
son, and the atonement of Christy wiU 
Ibe successful. So it was in the time 
•f the apostles ; so it was in the refor- 
mation; so it was in the Moravian 
missions ; so it has been in all Revivals 
of religion. There is a power about 
tfiat kind of preaching which philo- 
sophy and human reason have not 
" Christ is God's great ordinance" for 
Ibe salvation of the world; and we 
meet the crimes and alleviate the woes 
of the world, just in proportion as we 
hold the cross up as appointed to over- 
come the one, and to pour uie balm of 
oonsolation into the other. 

8. And I was with you Paul con- 
tinued there at least a year and six 
months. Acts xviii. 11. ^ In weakness. 
In conscious feebleness ; diffident of my 
own powers, and not trusting to my 
own strength. ^ And in fear^ and in 
much trembling, Paul was sensible 
^t he had many enemies to encoun- 
ter (Acts xviii. 6.) : and he was sensi- 
Ue of his own natural disadvantages 
as a public speaker, ft Cor. x. 10. He 
knew too, how much the Greeks valued 
a manly and elegant species of oratory ; 
and he, therefore, delivered his message 
with deep and anxious solicitude as to 
the success. It was at this time, and 
in view of these circumstances, that 
the Lord spoke to him by night in a 
tision, and said, **he not afraid, but 
•peak, and hold not thy peace ; for I' 
am with thee-, and no man shall set on 
thee to hurt thee; for I have much 
people in this city.'' Acts xviii. 9, 10. 
If Paul was conscious of weakness, 
wall may other ministeni be; and if 

4 And my speech and my 
preaching was not with ' en- 

Paul sometimes trembled in deep soli- 
citude about the result of his message^ 
well may other ministers tremble also. 
It was in such circumstances, and with 
such feelings, that the Lord met him to 
encourage him.— And it is when other 
ministers feel thus, that the promises 
of the gospel are inestimably precious. 
We may aidd, that it is then, and then 
only, that they are successfuL Not* 
withstanding, all Paul's fears, he wa9 
successful there. And it is commonly, 
perhaps always, when ministers go to 
their work conscious of their own 
weakness; burdened with the weight 
of their message; diffident of their 
own powers; and deeply solicitous 
about the result of their labours, that 
God sends down his Spirit, and con- 
verts eanners to God. The most suo 
cessfiil ministers have been men who 
have evinced most of this feeling ; and 
most of the revivals of religion have 
commenced, and continued, just as 
ministers have preached, conscious of 
their own feebleness, distrusting their 
own powers, aud looking to Grod for 
aid and strength. 

4. And my speech. The word 
speech here — ^if it is to be distinguished 
from preaching — ^refers, perhaps, to his 
more private reasonings ; his preaching 
to his public discourses. 1 Not with 
enticing words. Not with the per- 
suasive reasonings (9n:d-fr<c koyoa) iji 
the wisdom of men. Not with that 
kind of oratory that was adapted to 
captivate and charm; and which the 
Greeks so much esteemedw ^ But in 
demonstration. In the showing (dsn- 
iit^u) ; or in the testimony or evidence 
which the spirit produced. The mean- 
ing is, that the spirit furnished the evi- 
dence of the divine origin of the reli- 
gion which he preached, and that it 
did not depend for its proof on his own 
reasonings or eloquence. The prooi^ 
the demonstration which the spirit fur- 
nished was, undoubtedly, the mirades 




ticing words of *' man's wisdom, 
bttt in demonstration * of the 
Spirit and of powers 

a 2Fet.l .16. 6 ll^hesB.! .5. 

^m-^mmmm^m^m ■■ If ■■■ ■■■■■■.IB I I I ^^^M^.^.— ■ 

whidi were wrought; the- gift of 
tongues; and the remarkable conver- 
sions which attended the gospel. — ^The 
word Spirit here refers, doubtless, to 
Uie Holy Spirit ; and Paul says Uiat 
this Spirit had fucnisbed demonstration 
of the divine origin and nature of the 
gospel. This hsul been by the gift of 
tongues (ch. i. 5 — ^7. Comp. ch. xiv.), 
and by the efiects of his agency in re- 
newing and sanctifying the. heart. 
Y And of pdwer. That is, of the 
power of God (ver.'S); the divine 
power and efficacy which attended the 
pireacfaing of the gospel there. Comp. 
1 Thess. i. 5. — The effect of the gospel 
is the evidence to which the apostle 
a|q>eal8 for its truth. That efiect was 
seen, (1.) in the. conversion of sinners 
to God of all classes, ages, and eondi* 
tions, when all human means of re- 
forming them was vain. (2.) In its 
giving them peage, joy, and happiness ; 
and in its transforming their lives. (3.) 
In mining them different men — ^in 
making the drunkard sober ; the thief 
honest; the licentious pure; the pro- 
fime reverent; the indolent industri- 
ous ; the har^ and unkind, gentle and 
kind; and the wretched happy. (4.) 
In its diffusing a miB'and pure iniBa- 
enee over the laws and customs of so- 
dety ; and in promoting human hap- 
piness everywhere. — And in regard to 
this evidence to which the apostle ap- 
peals, we may observe, (1.) That is a 
kind of evidence which any one may 
examine, and which no one can deny. 
Il doe» not need laboured, abstruse ar^ 
gumentation, but it is everywhere in 
society. Every man has witnessed the 
effects of the gospel in reforming the 
vicious, and no one can deny that it 
has. this power. (2.) It is a mighty 
display of the power of God. There 
is no more syiking exhibition of his 
power over mmd than in a revival of 
nligion. There is nowhere more ma- 

5 That your faith should not 
' stand iu the wisdom of men, 
but in the power of God. 


nifest d«nonstration of his presence 
than when, in such a revival, the proud 
are humbled, the profane are awed, the 
blasphemer is silenced, and the pro^ 
gate, the abandoned, and the moral — aie 
converted unto God, and are M as lost 
sinners to the same cro8s,^and find th0 
same peace. (3.) The gospel has thus 
evidenced from i^ to age that it is 
from God. Every converted sinner 
furnishes such a demonstration; and 
every instance where it produces peaoe^ 
hope, joy, shows that it is from heaven. 
5. TYiai your faith. That b^ that 
your belief of the divine origin of the 
Christian religion. ^ SkotUd not 
stand. Greek, < should not be f* that 
is, should not rest upon this ; or be sus^ 
tained by this. God intended to furnish 
yoii a firm and solid demonstration that 
the religion which you embraced was 
from him ; and this could not be if 
its preaching had been attended with 
the graces of eloquence, or the abstrao- 
tions of refined metaphj^sic^l reasoning. 
It would then appear to rest on human 
wisdom. ^ In the power of God, In 
the evidence of divine power accom- 
panying the preaching of> the gospek 
The power of God would attend the 
exhibition of truth everywhere; and 
would be a demonstration that would 
be irresi8tiji>le that the religion was not 
originated by man, but was from heaven. 
That power .was seen in changing the 
heart; in overcoming. the strong propen- 
sities of our nature to sin ;'in subduing 
the souh and making the sinner a new 
creature in Christ Jesus. Every Chris- 
tian has thus, in his own experience, 
furnished demonstration that the religion 
which he loves is from God, and not 
from man. itfen could not subdue ibese 
sins; and man could not so entirely 
transform the souL And although the 
unlearned Ghtistian may not be able to 
investigate ail the evidences of religion ; 
although he canitok mfsHaii the objee> 




Howbeit we speak wisdom 
among them' * that are perfect : 


tHMM of cunnitig and subtle infidels, 
althooglr he may be greatly perplexed 
•nd embarraated by tiMm, yet be may 
bave the fiillest proof that be loves 
Gdd, that he is difierent from what he 
once was; and that all this has been 
aecomplished by the religion of the 
cross. The blind man that was made 
to see by the Saviour (John x.), might 
have been wholly unable to tell how 
his eyes were opened, and unable 
to meet all the cavils of those who 
OHght doubt it, or all the subtle and 
cunning objections of physiologists, but 
oi one thing he certainly could not 
doubt, that ** whereas he was blind, he 
^n saw/* John x. 25. A roan may 
have no doubt that the sun shines, that 
the wind blows, that the tides rise, that 
the blood flows in his veins, that the 
flowers bloom, and that this could not 
be except it was from God, while he 
may have no power to explain these 
hxia ; and no power to meet the objec- 
tions and cavils of those who might 
choose to embarrass him. So men may 
know that their .hearts are changed ; 
and it is on this ground that no small 
part of the Christian world, as in every 
thing else, depend for the most aati»> 
fectoiy evidence of their religion. On 
this ground humble and unlearned 
Christians have been often willing to go 
to the stake as martyrs ~- just ^as a 
humble and unlearned />a/r»o/ is will- 
ing to die for his country. He lopes 
it; and he is willing to die for it A. 
Christian hoes his God and Saviour ; 
and is willing to dSie for his sake. 

6. ^oto be ii. But (/t). This 
commences the second bead or argu- 
ment in this diapter, in which Paul 
shows that if human wisdom is want- 
ing in his preaching, it is not devoid 
of true, and solid, and even divine 
indsdom. — BhomiUld, ^ We speak 
vriadom. We to not admit that we 
otter fo<4ishness. We have spoken of 
th0 firaUahneos «f pveaehing (ch.i. 21) ; 

yet not the wisdom of tUt 
worldy-nor of the prinees of this 

and of the estimate in ,which it wia 
held by the world (ch. i. 23-— 28) ; 
and of our own manner among you as 
not laying claim to human learning or 
eloquenoe; but we do not design to- 
admit thai we have been really speak- 
ing folly. We have been uttering thai 
which is truly wise, but which is seen 
and understood to be such only by 
those who are qualified to judge— by 
those who may he denominated ^ pev> 
feet," that is, those who are fitted by 
God to understand it By ** wisdom" 
here, the apostle means that system of 
truth winch he had expladned and d6> 
fended — the plan of sidvatien by the 
cross of Christ ^ Ammig them that 
are perfect (W Toip taj/o<c). This, word 
*< perfect*' is here evidently appfied to 
Christians, as it is in Phil. iiL 16, 
*^ Let us, therefore, as many as be peiw 
feet, be thus minded." And it is clearly 
used to denote those who were advanced 
in Christian kno^edge; who were 
qualified to understand the subject; 
who had made progress in the know^ 
ledge of the mysteries of the gospel ; 
and who thus saw its excellence, {t 
does not mean here that they were nfi» 
&M, for the argument of the apostle 
does not bear on that inquiry, but tha$ 
.they were qualified to understand the 
go4>oI in contradistinction from the 
gross, the sensual, and the carnally min^ 
ed, who rejected it as foolishness. There 
is, perhaps, here an allfision to the he** 
then mysteries^ where those who had 
been fully initiated were said to be 
perfect — ^^Uy instructed in those rilee 
and doctrines. And if so, then thia 
passage means, that those only wh» 
have been fully instructed in the know- 
ledge of the Christian religion, will be 
qualified to see its beauty and its wi^ 
dom. The gross dnd sensual do not 
see it, and those only who are enlight* 
ened by the Holy Spirit ye qualified to 
appreciate its beauty and its excellency* 
^ Not the wisdom of the worUL Not 

A. D. 59;] 



world that come to 'naught: 

7 But we speak the wisdom 

of God in a mystery, even the 

that which this world has originated 
or loved. ^ Nor of the princes of this 
world. Perhaps intendkig chiefly here 
^e rulers of the Jews. See ver. 8. 
They neither devised it, nor loved it, 
nflor saw its wisdom, ver. 8. ^ Thai 
come to ndught. That is, whose plans 
fidl ; whose wisdom vanishes ; and who 
themselves, with all their pomp and 
splendour, come to nothing in the grave. 
Uomp. Isa. xiv. All the plans of hu- 
man wisdom shall fail ; and this which 
is originated by God only shall stand. 

t. But we speak. We who have 
preached the gospel. ^ 7%e tvisdom 
cfGod. We teach or proclaim the 
wise plan of God for the salvation ot 
men ; we make known the divine wis- 
dom in regard to the scheme of human 
redemption. This ptan was of-^God, in 
opposition to other plans which were 
of men. ^ In a mystery ^ even the 
hidden wisdom (» fAVTnt^iea tmv airo^ 
fux^v/jt/utivnt). The words " even" and 
** wisdom" m thia translation have been 
supplied by bur translators; and the 
sense would be more perspicuous if 
they were omitted, and Uie translation 
should be literally made, ' We pro* 
claim the divine wisdom hidden in 
a mystery.' The apostle does not say 
that their preaching was mysterious, 
nor that their doctrine was unintelligi- 
ble, but he refers to the fact that this 
wisdom had been hidden in a mystery 
ft6m men until that time, but was then 
revealed by the gospel. In other words, 
ho does not say that what they then 
declared was hidden in a mystery, -but 
that they made known the divine wis- 
doni which had been concealed from the 
minds of men. The word mystery 
with us is commonly used in the sense 
of that which is beyond comprehen- 
sion; and it is often applied to such 
doetrines as exhibit difficulties which 
we are not able to explain. ISut 
this is not the sense in which it is com- 1 

hidden ^ unsdom^ which Ood 
ordained before ^e world unto 
our glory : 

b Eph3^,9. 

monly used in the Scriptures. See Note, 
Matt. xiii. 11. Gomp. Campbell on the 
Gospels, Diss. ix. part i. The woid 
properly denotes that which is conceal' 
ed or hidden ; that which has not yet 
been made known; and is applied to 
those truths which until the revelation 
of Jesus Christ were concealed from 
men, which were either hidden under 
obscure types and shadows or propho- 
des, or which had been altogether un- 
revealed, and unknown to the worid. 
The word stands opposed to that which 
is revealed, not to that which is in it> 
self plain. The doctrines to which the 
word relates may oe in themselves dear 
and simple, but they are hidden m 
mystery until they are revealed. From 
Ihis radical idea in the word mystery, 
however, it came also to be applied not 
only to those doctrines which had not 
been made known, but to diose also 
which were in themselves deep and 
difficult : to that which is enigmatical 
and obscure. 1 Cor. xiv. 2. 1 Tim. 
iii. 16. It is applied also to the secret 
designs and purposes of God. Rev. x. 7. 
The word is most commonly applied by 
Paul to the secret and long concealed 
design of God to inake known his goo- 
pel to the Gentiles ; to bredk down the 
wall between them and the Jews; and 
to spread the blessings of the true re* 
ligion everywhere. Rom. xL !l95 ; xvi 
25. Eph. i. 9 ; iii. 9 ; vi. 19. Here, it 
evidently means the beauty and ex- 
cellency of the person and plans of Je- 
sus Christ, but which were ik fact 
unknown to the- princes of this world. 
It does not imply, of necessity, that they 
could not have understood them, nor that 
they were unintelligible, but that, in fact, 
whatever was the cause, they were con- 
cealed from them. ' Paul says (ver. 8), 
that hadHtiej known .his wisdom, they 
would not have crucified him — ^which ' 
implies at least that it was not in itself 
unintelligible; and he further se^s, that' 


8 Which none of the princes 
of this world knew : for * had 

a Luke 23.34. 

this mysteiy had been revealed to Chiie- 
tiaiie by the Spirit of God, which proves 
that he does not here refer to that which 
is in itself unintelligible, ver. 1 0. ** The 
apostle has here especially in view the 
all-wise counsel of God for the salvation 
of men by Jesus Christ, in the writings 
of the Old Testanient only obscurely sig- 
nifiedi and to the generality of men utter- 
ly unknown:'— Bhomfield. ^ Wkieh 
God ordained. Which plan, so full of 
wisdom, God appointed in his own pur^ 
pose before the foundation of the world ; 
that is, it was a plan which from eter^ 
tdty he determined to execute. It was 
not .anno device ; it had not been got 
up to serve an occasion ; but it was a 
plan laid deep in the eternal counsel of 
God, and on which he had his eye for- 
ever fixed. This passage proves, that 
God had a plan, and that thia plan was 
eternal. This is all that is involved in 
the doctrine of eternal decrees or pur- 
poses. And if God had a plan about 
this, there is the same reason to think 
that he had a plan in regard to all 
things. ^ Unto our ghry. In order 
that we might he honoured or glorified. 
This may refer either to the honour 
which was put upon Christians in this 
life, in being adinic><ed to the privileges 
of the sons of God ; or more probably 
to that *< eternal weight of glory" which 
remains for them in heaven. 2 Cor. 
iv. 1 7. One design of that plan was to 
raise the redeemed to '* glory, and ho- 
nour, and immortality.'' It should great- 
]|y increase our gratitude to God, that 
It was a subject of eternal design ; that 
he always has cherished this purpoee ; 
and that he has loved us with such love, 
and sought our happiness and salvation 
with such intensily, that in order to ac- 
complish it, he was willing )o give his 
own Son to die on a cross. 

8. Which none of the prmeea. None 
of those rulers who were engaged in 
the crucifixion of the Messiah, referring 
bath to the Jewish nilei% and the Ro-I 

they known Uf they would nol 
have crucified the Lord of Glory* 

man* goverpor* ^ Knew. They 
not perceive or appreciate the excel- 
lency of his character, the wisdom of 
his plan, the glory of his scheme of 
salvation. Their ignorance arose firom 
not understanding the prophecies, and 
from an unwillingness to he convinced 
that Jesus of Nazareth had been truly 
sent fay God. In Acts iiL 17, Peter 
says that it was through ignorance that 
the Jews had put him to death. See 
Note on this place. ^ For had they 
known it. Had they fully understood 
his character, and seen the wisdom of 
his plan, and his work, they would not 
have put him to death. See Note on. 
Acts iii. 17. Had they seen the bid- 
den wisdom in that plan*— had they 
understood the gloiy of his real chap 
racter, the truth respecting his incam^ 
tion, and the feet that he was the long 
expected Messiah of their nation, they 
would not have put him' to death. ' ft 
is incredibly that they would have em- 
cified their Messiah, knowing and be- 
lieving him to be such. They might 
have known it, but they were unwillmg 
to examine the evidence. They ex- 
pected a different Messiah, and weia 
unwilling to admit the claims of Jesua 
of Nazareth. For this ignorance, how 
ever, there, was no excuse. If ther 
had not a full knowledge, it was their 
own fault. Jesus had performed mira* 
des which were a complete attestatioa 
to his divine mission (John v. 36 ; x. 
25) ; but they closed their eyes on 
those works, and were unwilling to be 
convinced.^ — God always gives to mea 
sufficient demonstration of the truth, 
but they dose their eyes, and are un^ 
willing to believe. This is the sole 
reason why they are not converted to 
God and sav^d. 1 TTiey would not 
haoe crueiJUd, It is perfectly manifest 
that the Jews would not have crucified 
their own Messiah, knowing him to he 
9UfX' He was the hope and expectft- 
tioa of thur nation. All their desire* 


e But, a. 

it is vritten, ' Eye 
len, nor ear heard, 

a « Hebrokm, 
_ IS Lord ;" or tbe ' Mesauh.' , 
Empremioaa like ihu, where * noun 
perfanna the office of an adjective, ire 
commoo in the Hebrew language. — 
Onitiai mppoaea (hat the ei{ire«on is 
! lakan from ihAt of '* tha King of ^017," 

L in Pi. zxiv. 7—8. 

' Ltn. Dp TOUT heads, O j9 ealea, 

Be n lift up, je sietlnmlng doon, 

j^^. ,..__,_. ._,F ^ 

Jbhov. rf glorj. 

Ood ia called "tba Ood of glory" in 
Acta vii. a,— The bet that Ihie appella- 
tkn is given to Ja^oviB in the Old 
Teftament. and to the Lord Jnus in tlie 
Terse before ua, is one of thoae inci- 
dental circuimtaneei which show how 
dw Loid JesuB was eetimated bj the 
■p(Mtl«a; and how bmiliait; they ap- 
plied to him najnee and titles which 
belmg oalj to God. The fonnda- 
'ttoa of this appellation is laid in hie 
exalted perfeetiona ; and in the honour 
and majesty which be bad with the 
Father before the world was. John 
CTii. 1— fi. 

9.' But lU it ii terilUit. This pa^ 
aege ia quoted from laa. Iiiv, i. It is 
Doi quoted hterally ; bat the senae only 
ia given. The worda are found in the 
apoctyphal booka of Elijah ; and Origen 
Uld Jerome luppoaed that Paul quoted 
horn those books. But it is evident 
that PsdI had in hia eje the pasaage 
Isaiah ; and intended to apply it to t 
present purpose. Theee words are often 
applied by commentators and otheis t 
Ae future life, and are supposed by tbei 
to be deseri^TB of the state of the blesi 
edlbere, Butagainil 

neither have entered into Ihs 
heart of man, the (hingi which 

thai the; refer directly to the hum Blatc^ 
there are iniupeiable objectiona. (1.) 
The first is, that the passage in leaiah 
baa no aucfa reference. In that place it is 
designed clearly to describe tbe Uessed- 
neiB of those who were sdmitted to th« 

with God ; and to whom God BnuiiiM> 
od himself as their tiiend. ThMUeai- 
ednen i> mid to be snperior to all that 
men eiseviheie enjoy; to be sadi M 
could be found nowhere else but ia 
God. See Iss. Iiiv. 1. 4, & B. It is 
used than, as Paul uses it, to danoM 
the happiness which results from the 

the soul. (S.) The ol^ect of the apos- 
tle is not to describe the future state of 
the redeemed, ll is to {Rove that those 
who are Christians have true wisdom 
(vei. 6, 7) ; or tint they have viena of 
truth, and of Uie excellence of the plan 
of salvation which the worid hoa not, 
and which those who ciudfled the Lord 
Jesus did not paaaesa. The thing which 
he ia describing here, is not nwrely the 
happinesi of Christisne, but their view* 
of the teitdom of the pisb of salvation. 
Thqr hate views of that which the 
eye of other men have not aeen ; a 
view of wisdom, and fitness, and beauty 
which can be found in no other plan- 
It is true that this view is attended 
with a high degretfof comfort ; but the 
comfort is not the immediate thing in 
the eye of the apostle. (3.) The de- 
claration in ver. 10, is conclutive fioot 
that Paul does not refer to the tia|^ 
nesa of heaven.. He there says that 
God hat revealed these things to Chria- 
tians by his HpiriL But if ii£-«iu^ reveal- 
ed, assuredly it does not refer to that 
wbichiayif tocome. But although tfiia 
does not refer diralli/ to heaven, there 
rosy be an application of the paeaage to a 
future slate in an indireei manner, which 
ia not improper. If there are auch maa^ 
feelationa of wisdom id the ptsn here; 
if Chriatiaiii see so moch of its beauty 



God hath prepared for them that 
love him. 

here on earth ; and if their viewg so 
&r surpass all that tlia world sees and 
enjoys, bow much gn^ater and purer 
wUl be the manifestations of wisdom 
and goodness in the world of gloiy. 
Y Eye hath not seen. This is -the 
same as saying, that no one had^ever 
fully perceived and understood the 
value and beauty of those things which 
God 'had prepared for his people. All 
the world had been strangers to this 
until God made a revelation to his peo- 
ple by his Spirit. The blessedness 
which the apostle referred to had been 
unknown alike to the Jews and the 
Gentiles. ^ Nor ear fteartL We 
leam the existence and quality of ob- 
jects by the external senses ; and those 
senses are used to denote any acquisi- 
tion of knowledge. To say that the 
eye had not seen, nor the ear heard, 
was, therefore, the same as saying that 
it was not known at alL All men had 
been ignorant of it. ^ Neither have 
entered into the heart of man. No 
man has conceived it ; or understood it 
It is now ; and is above all that man 
has seen, and felt, and known. ^ The 
things which God hath prtpared. The 
things which ISod <*has held in re- 
serve" (Bloomfield) ; that is, what 
God has appointed in the gospel for his 
people. The thing to which the apos- 
Ue here refers particularly, is the wis- 
dom which was revealed in the gospel; 
but he also intends, doubtless, to in- 
clude all the provisions of mercy and 
happiness which the gospel makes 
known to the people of God. Those 
thinga relate, to the pardon of sin; 
to the atonement, and to justifica- 
tion by faith; to the peace and joy 
which religion imparts;^ to the com- 
plete and final redemption from sin 
and death which the gospel b fitted to 
produce, and which it will ultimately 
eflfect In all these respects, the bless- 
ings which the gospel confers, surpass 
the full comprehension of men; and 
are infinitely beyond all that man eojM 

[A. D. 99. 

10 But ' God hath revealed 
them unto us hy his Spirit : for 

a Jno.l6.13w 

know or experience wi&out the reli- 
gion of Christ And if on earth the 
gospel confers such blessings on its 
friends, how much higher and puter 
shall be the joys which it shall bestow 
in heaven ! 

10. But God hath revealed them. 
That is, those elevated views and en- 
joyments to which men eveiywhero 
else had been strangers, and which 
have been under all other forms of re- 
ligion unknown, have been communi- 
cated to us by the revelation of God.-— 
This verse commences the third part 
of this chapter, in which the apostle 
shows how these truths, so full of wis- 
dom, had been communicated to Chria- 
tians. It had not been by any native 
endowments of th^rs; not by any 
strength of faculties, or powers, but 
'solely by revelation from God. ^ Unto 
U8, That is, first to the apostles ; se- 
condly, to all Christians — ^to the church 
and the world through their inspired 
instructers ; and third, to all Christians 
by the illuminating agency of the spirit 
on their hearts. The connexion shows 
that he did not mean to confine 
claration to the apostles merely, for his 
design was to show that all Christians 
had this knowledge of the true wia- 
dom. It was true that this was reveal- 
ed in an eminent manner to the apos- 
tles, and through their inspired preach- 
ing and writings; but it is also true^ 
that the same truths are communicated 
by the agency of the same* Spirit to all 
Christians. John xvi. 12 — 14. No 
truth is now communicated to Chris- 
tians which was not revealed to and 
by the inspired writers ; but the same 
truths are imparted by means of their 
writings, and by the illumination of 
the Spirit to all ike true friends of God. 
1 By kia Spirit, By the Holy Spirit, 
that was promised by the Saviour. 
John xiv. 26 ; xv. 26, 27 ; xvt 7 — 14. 
This proves, (1.) That men by nature 
are not able to discover the deep things 
of God — ^the truths which are needfiil 

A. D. $9.] 



the Spirit searcheth all things, 
yea, the deep * thipgs of God. 


to saltation. (2.) That the apostles 
were inspired by tne Holy Ghost ; and 
if so, theii the Scriptares are inspired. 
(3.) That all Christians are the sub- 
jects of the teaching of the Holy 
ilpirit; that these truths are made 
known to them by his illumination; 
and that but for Uiis, they would re- 
main 4n the same darkness as other 
men. Y Pof ^^ Spirit. The Holy 
^irit, or the Spirit of Grod. See ver. 
11. ^ Searcheth, This word does 
not fully express the force of the ori- 
ginal («$</?«)• It means to search ac- 
curately, diligently, so as fully io un- 
derstand^ such profound research as to 
haye thorough knowledge. So David 
usies the Hebrew word *ipn in Ps. 
exrdx. 1« So the word is used to de- 
note a carefbl and accon^ investiga- 
tion of secret and obscure things, in 
1 Pet L 1 1. Comp. John viL 62^ Rom. 
iriit 27. Rev. iL 23, where it is used to 
denote that profound and accurate 
search by which the desires and feel- 
ings oi the heart are known-^imply- 
ing the most profound knowledge of 
which wd can have any conception. 
See Prov. zz. 27. Here it nieans, that 
die Holy Spirit has an intimate know- 
ledge of all things. It is not to be 
supposed that he searches, or inquires 
as men do who are ignorant ; but that 
Re has an intimate and profound know- 
ledge, such as is usually the result of a 
dose and accurate search. The result 
is what the apostle means to state— 
the accurate, profound, and thorough 
knowledge, such as usually attends 
reseaitii. He does not state the mode 
in. which it is obtained ; but the &cL 
And he uses a word more emphatic 
tfian simple knowledge, because he de- 
ngns to indicate that his knowledge is 
profound, entire, and thorough. ^ All 
tlahgs. All subjects ; all laws ; all 
events ; all beings. ^ The deep things 
of God. He has a thorough know- 
ledge of the hidden counsels or pur- 
poses of God ; of aU his plans and 


1 1 For what * man knoweth 
the things of a man, save the 


purposes. He sees all his designs. 
He sees all his counsels ; all his pur* 
poses in regard to the government of 
the universe, and the scheme of salva* 
tion. He knows all whom God de» 
signs to save; he sees all that they 
need; and he sees how the plan of 
God is fitted to dieir salvation.— This 
passage proves, (1.) That the Spirit is, 
in some respects, distinct from . the Fa- 
ther, or from him who is here called 
God. Else how could he be said to 
search all things, even the deep puv- 
poses of God 1 To search implies ac- 
tion, thought, personality. An attri- 
bute of God cannot be said to search. 
How could it be said of the justice, the 
goodness, the power, or the wisdom of 
God that it searches, or acts? To 
search, is the action of an intelligent 
agent, and cannot be performed by 
an attribute. (2.) The Spirit is om- 
niscient He searches or clearly un- 
derstands "all things^^-the very defini- 
tion of omniscience. He understands 
all the profound plans and counsels d' 
Grod. And how can there be a higher 
demonstration of omniscience than to 
know God? — ^But if omniscient, the 
Holy Spirit is divine— -for this is one of 
the moommunicable attributes of Oodt 
1 Chron. xxviii. 9. Ps. cxxxix. 1. Jet. 
xvii 10. (3.) He is not a distidtot 
bdng from God. There is a union 
between him and God, such as may be 
compared to the union between ^ man 
and his soul. ver. 11. God is one{ 
and though he subsists as Father, Son, 
and Spirit, yet he is one God. Deut vl 
4. — ^This passage is, therefore, a very 
important, and a decisive one in regard 
to the personality and divinity of the 
Holy Spirit 

11. For what meat, dec. The de^ 
sign of tills is, to illustrate what lit 
had just said by a reference to the wsj 
in which man acquires the knowledge 
of himself. ' The purpose is to show 
that the Spirit has an exact and 
thorough knowledge of the things of 



[A. D. 69« 

8pirit of man which is in him ? 
even so * the things of God 
knoweth no man, but the Spirit 
of God. 

God; and this is done by the very 
striking thought that no man can know 
his own mind, his own plans and in- 
tentions, but himself-^hls own spirit 
The essential idea is, that no man can 
know another ; that his thoughts and 
designs can only be known by himself 
or by his own spirit ; and that unless 
he chooses to reveal them to others, they 
cannot ascertain them. So of God. 
No man can penetrate his designs; 
and unless he chooses to make &em 
known by his Spirit, they must for 
ever remain inscrutable to human 
Tiew. ^ The things of a man. The 
'deep things' — ^the hidden •counsels, 
thoughts, plans, intentions, ^ Scuve 
ihe spirit iff many &c. Except hj» 
own mind; t. e. himself. No other 
man can folly know them. By the 
opirit of man here, Paul designs to de- 
note the human soul— or the intellect 
of man. It is not to be supposed that 
he here intends to convey the idea that 
there is a perfect resemblance between 
the relation which the soul of man 
bears to the man, and the relation 
which the Holy Spirit bears to God. 
The illustration is to be taken in re- 
gard to the point immediately before 
him — ^which is, that no one could 
know and communicate the deep 
thoughts and plans of God except hu 
Sfdrit — just as no one could penetrate 
into the intentions of a man, and fully 
know them, but himselC The passage 
proves, therefore, that there is a know- 
ledge which the Spirit has of God, 
which no man, no angel can obtain, 
just as every man's spirit has a know- 
ledge of his own plans which no other 
man can obtain ; tiiat the Spirit of God 
can communicate hik plans and deep 
designs, just as a man can communi- 
cate his own intentions; and conse- 
quently, that while there is a UstinCF- 
Uon of 8(Hne kind between the Spirit 

12 Now we have received, 
not ^ the spirit of the world, 
hut the Spirit which is of God : 
that ' we might know the things 

6BOID.8J5. c lJiio^.20. 

of God and God, as there is a difl> 
tinctbn which makes it proper to say 
that a man has an intelligent soul, yet 
there is su^ a profound and intimata 
knowledge of God by the Spirit, that 
he must be equal with him ; and such 
an intimate union, that he can be called 
<< Uie Spirit of God," and be one with 
God, as tiie human soul can be called 
"the spirit of the man," and be one 
with him. In all respects we are not to 
suppose that there is a similarity. In 
these points there is.-— It may be added 
that the union, the oneness of the 
Sporit of God with God, is no mote 
absurd or inexplicable than &e union 
of the spirit of man with the man ; or 
the oneness of the complex person 
made up oi body and soul, which we 
call man. When men have explamad 
all the difficulties about themsehes^^ka 
regard to their own bodies and spiritSy 
it will be time to advance objections 
against the doctrines here stated in re- 
gard to God. If Even so. To the 
same extent ; in like manner, t "^^ 
things of God, His deep purposes 
and plans. 1 Kn&weth no man, Man 
cannot search into them — any mora 
than one man can search the inten- 
tions of another. 

12. Now we hone reeewed. We 
who are Christians; and espeda% 
we, the aposties. The following verse 
shows that he had himself and the 
other apostles cluefly in view ; though 
it is true of all Christians that they 
have received, not the spirit of this 
world, but the spirit which is of God, 
1 Not the spirit of the world. Not 
the wisdom and knowledge which this 
world can give—- not the leanung and 
philosophy which were so much valued 
in Greece. The views of truth which 
we have, are not such as this world 
gives, but are such as are communi- 
cated by the Spirit of God. ^ But the 

Wr^% •? "1 • •■Kr- 

A. D. fid.] 



that are freely given to us of 

Spirit which is of God. We ne un- 
der the teachings and influence, of the 
Holy Spirit ^ That tve might know. 
That we might fully understand and 
appreciate. The Spirit is given to us 
in order that we might fully under- 
stand the favours which God^ has con- 
Sanaad on us in the gospel. It was not 
only necessary that God should grant 
the blessings of redemption by the gifl 
of his Son, but, such was the hardness 
and blindness of the human heart, it 
was needful that he should grant his 
Holy Spirit also, that men might be 
brought fully to see and appreciate the 
value of those &vouis. For men do 
not see. them by nature; neither does 
any one see them who is not enlight- 
ened by the Holy Spirit of God. Y The 
things that arefreelt/ given tu. That 
ve conferred on us as a matter of 
grace or favour. He here refers to the 
blessings of redemption — the pardon 
of 8in>. justification, sanctification, the 
divine fiivour and protection, and the 
hope of eternal life.— These things we 
know f they are not matters of conjec- 
ture ; but are surely and certainly con- 
finned to us by the Holy Spirit It is 
possible for all Christians to know and 
be fully assured of the truth of those 
things, and of their interest in them. 

13. Which things we apeak. Which 
great, and glorious, and certain truths, 
we, the apostles, preach and explain. 

Y Not in the words which man^s wis- 
dom teacheth. Not such as human 
philosophy or eloquence would dictate. 
They do not have their origin in the 
devices of humali wisdom, and they 
are not expressed in such words of daz- 
zling and attractive rhetoric as would 

^ be employed by those who pride them- 
selves on the vnsdom of this world. 

Y But which the Holy Ghost teacheih. 
That b, in the words which the Holy 
Ghost imparts to us. Locke under- 
stands this as referring to the fiict that 
the apostles used ''the language and 

13 Which things 9^0 we 
speak, not * in the words Xvl^ick 


expresnons'' which the Holy Ghost 
had taught in the revelations of the 
Scriptures. But this is evidently giving 
a narrow view of the subject The 
apostle is speaking of the whole course 
of instruction by which the deep things 
of God were made known to the Chris- 
tian church ; and all this was not made 
known in the very words which were 
already contained in the Old Testament 
He evidently fefina to the £ict that the 
apostles were themselves under the di- 
rection of the Holy Spirit, in the words 
and doctrines which they imputed; 
and this passage is a full proof that 
they laid claim to divine ins{Hration. 
It is further observable that he says, 
that this was done in such '' words" as 
the Holy Ghost taught, referring not to 
the doctrines or subjects merely, but to 
the manner of expressing them. It is 
evident here ihat he lays claim to an 
inspiration in regard to the words 
which he used, or to the manner of his 
stating the doctrines of revelation. 
Words are the signs of thoughts ; and 
if God designed that his truth should 
be accurately expressed in human lan- 
guage, there must ha,ve been a super- 
vision over the words used, that such 
should be employed, and such only, as 
should accurately express the sense 
which he intended to convey. ^ Com' 
paring spiritued things^idth spiritiAol 
{■jrvfu/uttriKols itywfitsmratd 0vyji^(fovnrtc), 
This expression has been very variously 
interpreted ; and is very difficult of ex- 
planation, he Clerc renders it *' speed- 
ing spiritual things to spiritual men." 
Most of the &thers rendered it ** com- 
paring the things which were written 
by the Spirit of the Old Testament 
with what is now revealed to us by the 
same Spirit, and confirming our doo- 
trine by them.'' Calvin renders the 
word ** comparing*^ by JUHng, or 
adapting ((yatare), and says that it 
means "that he adapted spiritual 
things to spiritual men, while he ao- 


iJuV. 59 

Bian*8 wisdom teacheth, but 
which the Holy Ghost teacheth ; 

commodated words to the thing ; that 
te, he tempered that edestial wisdom 
6f the Spirit with simple language, and 
which eonteyed by its^C the native 
energy of the Spirit" Thus, says he, 
he reproved Uie vanity of those who 
attempted to secure human applause 
by a turgid and subtle mode of argu- 
■lenU Grolhis accords with the fifc- 
fhers, and renders it, ''explaining those 
tilings which the prophets spake by 
tike Sphit of God, by those things 
which Christ has made known to us 
by his Spirit." Macknight renders it, 
** explaining spiritual things in words 
taught by the Spirit/' So Doddridge. — 
The word rendered ** comparing" (wy- 
M^lfomc), means properly to collect, 
join, mingle, unite together ; then to 
separate or distinguish parts of things 
and unite them into one; then to judge 
ef the qualities of objects by carefully 
separating or distinguishing; then to 
tofnpare for the purpose of judging, 
ftc. As it means to compare one 
Ihing with another for the purpose of 
explaining its nature, it comes to sig- 
nify, to interpret, to explain / and in 
this sense it is often used by the LXX. 
as a translation of ino Pkathar, to 
open, unfold, explain. (See Gen. xl. 
8. 16. 22 ; xli. 12. 16.) ; also of vnfi, 
to explain (Num. xv. 32) ; and of 
the Chaldee vno, (Dan. v. 13. 17). 
See also Dan. ii. 4—7. 9. 16. 24. 
26. 30. 36. 45; iv. 3, 4. 6. 16, 17; v. 
7,^. 13. 16. 18. 20; vii. 16, in all 
which places the noun ^it^ta-tCf is 
used in the same sense. In this sense 
the word is, doubtlefis, used here, and 
is to be interpreted in the sense of ex- 
plaining, unfolding. There is no 
reason, either in the word h^e used, 
or in tile argument of the apostle, why 
the sense of comparing should be re- 
tained, t fSpiriiual things (Tna/usL- 
ititd). Things, doctrines, subjects that 
pertaizr to the teaching of tiie Spirit 
It does not mean things spiritual in 
opposition to y2es^; or tnteffectualin 

comparing spiritaal things with 

oppWtion to things pertaining to mat' 
ter / but spiritual as the things referred 
to were such as were wrought, and 
revealed by the Holy Spirit — his doc- 
trines on the subject of religion under 
the new dispensation, and his influence 
on the heart ^ With spiritual (vnu^ 
/uumetic). This is an adjective; and 
may be either masculine or neuter. It 
is evident that some noun is under- 
stood. That may be either, (1.) ayd^g»- 
mtt, men — and then it will mean <* to 
spiritual men" — ^that is, to men who 
are enlightened or taught by the spirit; 
and thus many commentators under- 
stand it; or, (2.) It may be xcyotf, 
tbords — and then it may mean, either 
that the << spiritual things" were ex- 
plained by ''words" and illustrations 
drawn from the writings of the Old 
Testament, inspired by the Spirit — as 
most of the fathers, and many modems 
understand it ; or that the ** things spi- 
ritual" were explained by words whidi 
the Holy Spirit then communicated, 
and which were adapted to the subject 
^-simple, pure, elevated; not gross, 
not turg^, not distinguished for rhe- 
toric, and not such as the Greeks 
sought, but such as became the Spirit 
of God communicating great, sublime, 
yet simple truths to men. It wiH then 
mean 'explaining doetrine/s tiiat pei^ 
tain to the Spirit's teaching and influ- 
ence in words that are taught by the 
same Spirit, and that vxe fitted to con- 
vey in the most intelligible manner 
those doctrines to men.' Here the 
idea of the Holy Spirit's present agency 
is kept up throughout; the idea that 
he communicates the. doctrine, and the 
mode of stating it to man. — ^The sup- 
position that jioyoK, words, is the word 
understood here, is favoured by the 
fact that it occurs in the previous part 
of this verse. And if this be the sense, 
it means that the words which were 
used by the apostles were pure, .simple, 
unostentatious, and undistinguished by 
display-— such as became doctrines 

A. D. fid.] 



14 But the natural man re- 
ceiveth * not the things of the 

a Mattiail,&c. Rom.8^. 

■ «l I 11 I I I 111 ■ ■ » n . . 

tanght by the Holy Spirit, when com- 
municated in words suggested by the 
same Spirit 

14. But the natural man (4o;^a(or 
a Sfd-^egnrcf). The word natural here 
stands opposed evidently to apiritttal. 
It denotes those who are goyemed and 
mfloenoed by the natural instincts ; the 
animal passions and desires, in opposi- 
tbn to those who are influenced by the 
Spirit of God. It refers to unregenerate 
men ; but it has also not merely the idea 
of their being unregenerate, but that of 
their bdbg influenood by the animal pas- 
sions or desires^ See. Note on ch, xv. 
44. The word sensual would correctly 
express the idea. The word is used by 
the Greek writers to denote that which 
man has in common with the brutes-^ 
to denote that they are under the influ- 
ence of the senses, or the mere animal 
nature, in opposition to reason and con- 
a^nce.—Breisehneiden See 1 Thess. 
T. 23. Here it denotes that they are 
under the influence of the senses, or 
the animal nature, in opposition to be- 
ing influenced by the Spirit of God. 
Macknigfat and Bviddridge render it " the 
animal man." Whitby understands by 
it the man who rejects revelation, the 
man who is under the influence of car- 
nal wisdom. The word occurs but six 
times in the New Testament: 1 Cor. 
XT. 44. 44. 46. James iii. 15. Jude 19. 
In 1 Cor. XV. 44. 44. 46, it is rendered 
'' natural,'^ and is applied to the body 
as it exists before death, in contiadi»> 
tinction firom that which c^all exist after 
the resurrection— called a spiritual body. 
In James ill. 15, it is applied to wis- 
dom, '<This wisdom — is earthly,- 
Hnmcdj devilish." In Jude 19, it is 
applied to ^enstio/ persons, or those who 
are governed by'the senses in opposition 
to those who kre influenced by the 
Spirit : ^ Theak be they who separate 
themselves, sensual, having not the 
Spirit.'* .The word here evidently de- 
jiotes those who are XBoAex the influence 


Spirit of God : for they are fool* 
ishness unto him: neither can 

of the senses ; who are goTemed by 
the passions .and the animal appetites, 
and natural desires ; and who are unin- 
fluenced by the Spirit of God. And it 
may be observed that this was the case 
with the great mass of the heathen 
world, even including the philoaophenb- 
Y Reeeiveth not (ou iiyjnau), does not 
emifraee or comprehenathem. That is, 
he rejects them as folly ; he does not 
perceive their beauty, or their wisdom ; 
he despises them. He loves other 
tlungs better. A man of intemperance 
does not receive or love the arguments 
for temperance ; a man of licentious- 
ness, the aiguments for chastity ; a liar, 
the arguments for truth. So a sensual 
or worldly man does -not receiver love 
the arguments for religion. ^ T7te 
^ings of the Spirit of God, The do^ 
trines which are inspired by the Holy 
Spirit, and the things which pertain 
to his influence on the heart and life. 
The things of the Spirit of God here 
denote all the things which the Holy 
Spirit produces. K Neither can he know 
them. Neither can he understand of 
comprehend them. Periiaps, also^ the 
word know here implies also the idea 
of loving, or approving of them, as it 
often does in ^e Scripture. Thus t9 
know the Lord often means to love him, 
to have a full, practical acquaintance 
with him. When the apostle says that 
the animal or sensual man cannot know 
those things, he may have reference to 
one of two things. Either, (1.) That 
those doctrines were not^|||veraUa 
by human wisdom, ^^^/Kf^J skill 
which the natural man VKyhave, but 
were to be leurned only by revelation* 
This is the main drift of his argument, 
and this sense is given by Locke and 
Whitby. Or, (2.) He may mean that 
the sensual^ the unrenewed man can* 
not perceive their beauty and ^eir force, 
even after they are revealed to man, 
unless the mind is enlightened and in- 
dbed by the Spirit of God. This ia 



[A. D. 59. 

he kpow them, because they ace 
•picitually discerned. 

15 But he 'that is spiritual 

probably the seiue of the paatagte. This 
10 the simple affirmation of a/oe^—- that 
while the man remains sensud and 
carnal, he cannot, perceive the beaufy 
of those doctrines. And this t^ a sim- 
ple and well known fact. It is a truth 
i— universal and lamentable— that the 
•ensual man, the worldly man, the 
proad, haughty, and self^K)nfident man; 
the man under the influence of his ani- 
mal appetites — ^licentious, false, ambi- 
tious, and vain — does not perceive any 
keauty in Christianity. So the uitem- 
perate man perceives no beauty in the 
arguments for temperance; the adul- 
terer, no beauty in the arguments for 
chasti^ ; the liar, no beauty in the ar- 
gumoiAs for truth. It is a slmfde fact, 
that while he is intemperate, or licen- 
tious, or fisLlse, he can perceive no beauty 
in these doctrines. But this does not 
prove that he has no natural faculties 
ioi perceiving the force and beauty of 
these arguments ; or that he might not 
a{^ly his mind to their investigation, 
and be brought to embrace them; or 
that he mighi not abandon the love of 
intoxicating drinks, and sensuality, and 
fidsehood, and be a man of temperance, 
parity, and truth. He has all the natu- 
lal faculties which are requisite in the 
case I and all the inalnlity is his strting 
love of intoxicating drinks, or impurity, 
or iiedsehood. So of the sensual sin- 
ner. While he thus remains in love 
with sin, he cannot perceive the beauty 
of the plan of salvation, or the excd- 
lency q^^e doctrine of religion. He 
needs jJH^^Ewe of these things, and 
fhen/lo/r^^n. He needs to cherish 
the influences of the SfHrit; to rec^'oe 
what he has taught, and not to reject 
it through the love of sin ; he needs to 
yield himself to then: influences, and 
then their beauty will be seen. The 
pMMMig^ bsre proves that while a man 
M thus sensual, (he things of the Spirit 
y/fSL appear to him to be folly ; itproTes 
aothing ab^iit hii ability, or his natural 

^ judgeth all tilings, yet he him- 
self is ' judged of no man. . 

aProv.2aLS. * oi^diacemUh. •atfdUcerfied, 

fistGulty, to see the excellency of these 
things, and to turn from his sin. It is 
the affirmation of a simple &ct every- 
where discemibley that the natural man 
does not perceive the beauty of these 
things; that while he remains in thai 
state he cannot ,* and that if he is ever 
brought to perceive their beauty, it will 
be by the influence of the Holy Sp^t. 
Such is his love of sin, that he never 
will be brought to see ^eir beauty ex- 
cept by the agency of the Holy Spirit. 
*< For wickedfiuBSfl perverts the judgm^it, 
and makes men orr with respect to 
practical principles ; so that no one can 
be wise and judicious who is not goodV' 
Aristotle, as quoted by Bloomfield* 
1 TTiei/ are spiritualty discerned. That 
is, they are perceived by the aid of the 
Holy Spirit enlightening the mind and 
influencing the heart 

] 5. But he tluU is spiritual* The 
man who is enlightened by the Holy Spi-. 
rit, in contradistinction from him who 
is under the influence oi the senses only* 
^ Judgeth, Gr. Discemeth (margin) ; 
the sanie word as in the previous vex8e» 
It means that the spiiitual man has a 
discernment of those truths in regard 
to which the sensual man was blind 
and ignorant 1 All things. Not at>-. 
solutely all things; or not that he is 
omniscie&t ; but that he has a view of 
those things to which the apostle had 
reference — ^that is, to the. things which 
are revealed to man by the Holy Spirit 
t Yet he himself is judged,- (jrreek, as 
in the margin, " is discerned ^* that is, 
his feelings, principles, views, hopes, 
fears, joys, cannot be fully understood 
and appreciated by any natural or sen^ 
sual man. He does not comprehend 
the prineii^es which actuate him; he 
does not enter into his joys; he does 
not sympathize with him in his feeUngs. 
This is a matter oi simple truth toad 
universal observation. The reason is 
added in the following verse, — ^that as 
the Christftip is influeDced by the Lord 

A.D. 69.] 



16 For who'" hath known 
the mind of theXord, that ho 

a Isa.4aiaAr.23.ia 

and as the natural ICan does not kno^r 
him, Qp, he cannot know him who is in* 
fioenced by him ; that is, the Christian. 
16. ForwhokcUhknoumfSoo. This 
pifBsage is qtioled from Isa. xl. 13.. The 
ilkterrogatiYe form is a strong mode of 
denying that any one has ever known 
the' mind of the Lord. The argumeni 
of P|in| is this, < No one can understand 
G^» No one can fully comprehend 
his plans, his feelings, his views, his 
designs. No one by nature, under the 
influence of sense and passion, is eith^ 
disposed to inyestigate his truths, or 
loTes them when they ere revealed. 
But the Christian is influenced by God. 
He has his Spirit He has the mind 
of Christ ; who had the mind of Grod. 
He sympathizes with Christ; he has 
his feelings, desires, pusposes, and plans. 
And as no one can fully understand 
God by nature, so neither can he un* 
derstand him who is influenced by God, 
and is like him; and it is not to be 
wondered at that he r^ards the Chris- 
tian religion as foUy, and the Christian 
aeafool. ^ The mind of Christ. The 
views, feelings, and temper of Christ. 
We are influenced by his spirit 


Ist Ministers of the gospel shoqid 
not be too anxious to be distinguished' 
for excellency of speech or language, 
ver. 1. Their aim should be to speak 
the smiple truth, in language pur« and 
inteiligible to all. Let it be remen^ 
bered, that if there ever was any place 
where it would be proper to seek such 
graces of eloquence, it was Corinth. 
1£ in any city now, or in any refined 
and genteel society it would b« proper, 
it Would have been proper in Corinth. 
Let this thou^t rebuke those, who, 
when they preach to a gay and feshion- 
ab!e auditory, seek to fill their sermons 
with ornament rather than with solid 
thought; wi^ die tinsel of rhetoric, 
lather than with pure language. Paul 
was n^ in ^ eowse ; and wae tcMft I 

>ioay instruct him? But we 
have * the loind of Christ? 

1 thall. h Jiio.l7^. « 

True taste abhors meretricious oma- 
meniB, as much as the gospel does. 
And the man who is called to preach- 
in a rich and fltehionable congregation, 
should remember, that he is stationed 
there not to please the ear, but to save 
the soul ; that his object is not to dis- 
play his tal^t or his eloquence, but to, 
rescue Ms hearers from ruin. This 
purpose will make the mere ornaments 
of rhetoric appear small. It will give 
seriousness to ins discourse ; gravity to 
his diction ; unction to his eloquence ; 
heiart to his arguments ; and success to 
his ministry. 

2d. The purpose of every wiinister 
should be fike that of Paul, to preach 
Christ and him crucified enly. See 
Note on ver. 2. 

dd If Paul trembled at Corinth in 
view of dangers and difl^culties ; if he 
was conscious of his own weakness and 
feebleness, then we should learn also 
to be humble. He is not much in dan- 
ger of erring who imitates the example 
of this great apostle. And if he who 
had received a direct commission from 
the great Head of the church, and who 
was endowed with such mighty powers, 
was modest, nnassuming, and diflSdent, 
then it becomes ministers c^ the gospel 
now, and all others to be humble also. 
We should not, indeed, be afraid of 
men ; but we should be modest, hum- 
ble, and lowly ; much impressed, as if 
conscious of our mighty efaarge ; and 
anxious to deliver just such a message 
as God will approve and blete. 

Would I describe a {weacher, sack as Paul, 
W6re he on earth, would hear, approve, aOd 

Panl should himself direct me. I would trace 
His master-stiDkes^ and drew from his deirtgn. 
I would ezpreas him simple, grave, sincere ; 
In docuine uncomipt ; in language plain ; 
And plain in manner ; decent, solemn, chaste, 
And natural in gesture ; jmu^ iiapress^d 
Himself^ as conscious oinn awful charge: 
And anxious mainly that the flock he leeds 
Mav feel It too. AffectioBate in look^. 
And tender in address, as well becomes 
A menenger of grace to guilty men* 

TU^^O* Urn 



[A. D. 99. 

Our aim should be to comiiieiid our 
message to every man's conscience; 
and t^ do it with humility towards 
God, and deep solicitude; with bold- 
ness towards our fellow men-^respect- 
fully towards them — ^but still resolved 
to tell the truUi. ver. 3. 

4th. The faith of Ghriftians does not 
stand in the wisdom of man. Every 
Christian has evidence in his own 
heart, in his experience, and in the 
transformation of his diameter, that 
none but God could have wrought the 
change on his soul. His hopes, his 
joys, his peace, his sanctification, his 
love of prayer, of the Bible, of Chris- 
tians, of God, and of Christ, are all such 
as nothing could have produced but the 
mighty power of God. All these bear 
marks of their high origin. They are 
the work of God on the sduI. Aud as 
the Christian is fully conscious that 
these are not the native feelings of his 
heart—that if left to himself he would 
never have had them; so he has the 
fullest demonstration that they are to 
be traced to a divine source. And can 
he be mistaken about their existence ? 
Can a man doubt whether he has joy, 
and peace, and happiness 1 Is the in- 
fidel to tell him coolly that he must be 
mistaken in regard to th^ existence of 
Uiese emotions, and that it is all delu- 
sion 1 Can a child doubt whether it 
loves a parent ; a husband whether he 
loves his wife ; a friend, a friend ; a man, 
his country 1 And can he doubt whe- 
ther this emotion produces joy 1 And 
can a man doubt whether he loves 
God 1 Whether he has different views 
from what he once had t Whether he 
has peace and joy in view of the cha- 
racter of God, and the hope of heayen 1 
And by what right shall the infidel tell 
him that he is mistaken, and that all 
this is delusion] How can he enter 
into the soul, and pronounce the man 
who professes to have these feelings 
mistaken ? What should we think of 
the man who should tell a wife that 
she did not love her husband; or a 
fiiUier that he did not love his children 1 
Hcnr eau he know this t And, in like 

manner, how can an infidel and a sco^ 
fer say to a Christian, that all his hopes 
and joys, his love a^ peace are delusion 
and &oaticism ? ^^e truth is, that the 
great mass of jCbristnns are just as well 
satisfied of the truth of religion, as thoy 
are of their own existence v and that a 
Christian will die for his love to the 
Saviour, just as he will die for his wife^ 
and children, and country. Martyrdom 
in the one case is on the same princi- 
ple as martyrdom in the other. Mai^ 
tyidom in either, is noble and honour- 
able, and evinces the highest qualities 
and principles of the human mind. 

5th. Christians are influenced by true 
wisdom, ver. 6. They are not fools ; 
though they appear to be to their fellow 
men. They see a reeU beauty and wis* 
dom in the plan of redemption wjiich 
the world does not discern. It is not 
the wisdom of this world ; but it is the 
wisdom which lookfif to eternity. Is a 
man a fool who acts with reference to 
the future 1 Is he a fool who belieyes 
that he shall live to all eternity, and 
who regards it as proper to make prepa- 
ration for that eternity 1 Is he a fool 
who acts fi if he were to die-*to be 
judged-:— to enter on an unchanging 
destiny ? Folly is manifested in clo»* 
ing the eyes on the reality of the. eon* 
dition ; 6ot in looking at it as it is. The 
man who is sick, and who strives to 
convince himself that he ia well ; the 
man whose affairs are in a state of 
bankruptcy, and who is unwilling to 
know it, is a fooL The man who is 
willuig to know all about his situation, 
and to act accoidingly, is a wise man* 
The one represents the conduct of a 
sinner, the other that of Christian* A 
man who should see his child drownings 
or his house on fire, or the pestilence 
breathing around him, and be uncon^ 
cemed, or donee amidst such scenes, 
would be a fool or a madman. And is 
not the sinner who is gay and thought- 
less over the grave and over A^// equally 
foolish and mad ? And if there .be a 
God, a heaven, a Saviour, and a hell ;* 
if men are to die, and to be judged, is 
he not wise who acts « if ii were ao^ 

A. D. 69.] 



and who lives accordingly t WHOe 
Christians, therefore, may not be distin- 
guished for the wisdom of t||is world-^ 
wliile many are destitute ofleaiDing, 
science, and eloquence, Ihey have a 
wisdom which shall survive when all 
other is vanished away. 

6th. All the wisdom of this world shall 
come to nanght. ver. 6. What will be 
the value of political sagacity, when all 
governments shall come to an end but 
the divine government 1 What the 
value of eloquence, and graceful dic- 
tion, when we stand at the judgment 
seat of Christ 1 What the value of 
science in this world, when all shall be 
revealed with the clearness of noonday 1 
How low will appear all human attain- 
ments in that world, when the light of 
eternal day shall be shed over all the 
v^orks of God 1 How little can human 
science do to advance &e eternal inte- 
rests of man ? And how shall all fade 
away in the future world of glory — just 
as the feeble glimmering of the stars 
fitde away before the ligHt of the morn- 
ing sun ! How little, therefore, should 
we pride ourselves on the highest attain- 
ments of science, and the most elevated 
distinctions of learning and eloquence. 

7th. God has a purpose in regard to 
the salvation of men. ver. 7. This 
scheme was drdained before the world. 
It was not a new device. It was not 
the o£&pring of chance, an accident, 
or an after thought* It was because 
God purposed it from eternity, God 
has a plan; and this plan contem- 
plates the salvation of his people. And 
it greatly enhances the value of this 
benevolent plan in the eyes of his peo- 
ple, that it has been the object of ilie 
eternal earnest desire and purpose of 
Crod, How much a gift is enhanced 
in value from the fact that it has been 
long the purpose of a parent to bestow 
it ; that he has toiled for it ; that he has 
made arrangements for it ; and that this 
has been the chief object of his efforts 
and his plan for years. So the fiivours 
of eternal redemption are bestowed on 
Christians as the fruit of the eternal 
purpose and desire of God. And how 

should our hearts rise in gratitude to 
him f6r his unspeakable gift ! 

8th. One great and prominent cause 
of sin is the fact that men are blind to 
the reality and beauty of spiritual ob- 
jects. So it was widi those who cru- 
cified the Lord. ver. 8. Had they seen 
his glory as it was, they would not have 
crucified him. And so it is now. When 
men bla^heme God, they see not his 
excellency; when they revile reUgion, 
they know not its rral valne; when 
they break the laws of God, they do 
not fully discern their purity and their 
importance. It is true they are wilfully 
ignorant, and their crime is often en- 
hanced by this fact ; but it is equally 
true that ''they know not what they 
do." For such poor, blinded, deluded 
mortals, the Saviour prayed'; and for 
such we should all pray. The man that 
curses God, has no just sense of what 
he is doing. The man who is pro&ne, 
and a scoffer, and a liar, and an adul- 
terer, has no just sense of the awful 
nature of his crime ; and is an object 
of commiseration — while his sin should 
be hated — and is a proper subject of 

9th. Men are often eommitting the 
most awful crimes when they are un- 
conscious of it. ver. 8. What crime 
could compare with that of crucifying 
the only Son of Grod ? And what crime 
could be attended with more dreadfiil 
consequences to its perpetrators t So 
of sinners now. They httle know what 
they do ; and they liUle know the con- 
sequences of their sins. A man may 
curse his Maker, and say it is in sport! 
But, how will it be regarded in the day 
of judgment ? A man may revile the 
Saviour ! But how will it appear when 
he dies ? It is a solemn thing to trifle 
with God and with his laws. A man is 
safer when he sports on a volcano, or 
when he makes a jest of the pesti- 
lence or the forked lightnings of hea- 
ven, than when he sports with reli- 
gion and with God ! In a world like 
this, men should be serious and fear 
God. A single deed, like that of the 
crucifixion c^ Christ,- may be remem- 



[A. D« 59. 

berpd when all the dbncmnstances of 
sport and mockeiy shall hav« passed 
away — remembered when the world 
be destroyedi and stars and suns shall 
rash to ruin. 

10th. Christians have views of the 
beauties of religion, and have consola- 
tions arising from these views, which the 
world has noL ver. 9. They have dif- 
ferent views of God, of Christ, of heaven, 
of eternity. They see a beauty in all 
these things, and a wisdom in Uie plan 
of salvation, which the men of the world 
do not see. The contemplations of this 
beauty and wisdom, and the evidence 
which they have that they are interested 
in all this, gives them a joy which the 
world does not possess. They see what 
the eye has not elsewhere seen ; they 
enjoy what men elsewhere have not 
enjoyed ; and they are elevated to 'pri- 
vileges which men elsewhere do not 
possess. On earth they partake of hap- 
piness which the world never can give, 
and in heaven they shall partake of the 
fulness of that joy— of pleasures there 
which the eye had not before seen, nor 
the ear heard, nor the heart of man 
conceived. Who would not be a 
Christian 1 

11th. The Holy Ghost is in some 
sense distinct from the Father. This is 
implied in his action as an agent— in 
searching, knowing, &c. ver. 10, 11. 
An attributes ; a quality, does not search 
and know. 

12th. The Holy Spirit is ^vine. 
None can know God but one equal to 
himself If the Spirit intimately knows 
the wisdom, the goodness, the omnis- 
cience, the eternity, Uie power of God, 
he must be divine. No created being 
can have this intelligence, ver. 10, 11. 

13th. Christians are actuated by a 
different spirit from the men of this 
world, ver. 12. They are influenced 
by a regard to God and his glory. The 
men of the world are under the influr 
ence of pride, avarice, sensuality, am- 
bition, and vainglory. 

14tli. The sinner does not perceive 

the beauty of the things of religion. 
To all this beauty he is blind. This 
is a sober and a most melancholy HbL 
Whatever may be the cause of it, the 
fact is uqdeniable and sad. It ia 
Up with the sensualist; with the men 
of avarice, pride, ambition, and licenti* 
ousness. The gospel is regarded as 
folly, and is despised and scorned by the 
men of this world. This is true in all 
places, among all people, and at ail 
times. To this there are no exceptions 
in human nature ; and over this we 
should sit down and weep. 

1 5th. The reason of this is, that men 
love darkness. It is not that th^ are 
destitute of the natural faculties for lov- 
ing God, for they have as strong native 
powers as those who become Christians. 
It is because they love jtfi— «nd this 
simple fact, carried oat into aU its bear- 
ings, will account for all the difficulties 
in the way of the sinner's convernon. 
There is nothing else ; and 

16th. We see here the value of the 
influences of the . Spirit. It is by this 
Spirit alone that the mind of the Chris- 
tian is enlightened, sanctified, and com- 
forted. It 4s by him alone that he sees 
the beauty of the religion which he 
loves ; it is by his influence alone that 
he di£fers from his fellow men. And 
no less important is it for the sinn^. 
Without the influences of that Spirit his 
mind will always be in darkness, and 
his heart will always hate the gospel. 
How anxiously, therefore, should he 
cherish his influences ! How careful 
should he be not to grieve him away ! 

17th. There is a difference between 
Christians and other men. One is en- 
lightened by the Holy Spirit, the other 
not; one sees a beauty in religion, to^ 
the other it is folly ; the one has the 
mind of Christ, the other has the spirit 
of the world ; the one discerns the ex^ 
cellency of the plan of salvation, to the 
other all is darkness and folly. How 
could beings differ more in their moral 
feelings anid views than do Christians 
and the men of this world 1 

A. D. 59.] 



ND I, brethren, could not 
speak unto you ^as * unto 

The dcBign of this chapter is sub- 
stantially the same as the former. It 
is to reprove the pride, the philosophy, 
the vain wisdom on which the Greeks 
so much rested ; and to show that the 
gospel was not dependent on that for 
its success, and that that had been the 
occasion of no small part of the con- 
tentions and strifes which had arisen in 
the church at Corinth. The chapter 
is occuiHed mainly with an account of 
his own ministry with them; and 
seems designed to meet an objection 
which dther wa» made, or could hone 
been made by the, Corinthians them- 
selves, or by the &lse teacher that was 
among them. In elk ii. 12 — 16, he 
had affirmed that Christians were 
m fact under the influence of the 
Spirit of God ; that they were enlight- 
ened in a remarkable degree ; that they 
nnderstood aU things pertaining to 
the Christian religion. To this, it 
either was, or could have been objected 
that Paul, when among them had' not 
instructed them fully in the more deep 
and abstruse points of the gospel ; and 
that he had confined his instructions to 
the very rudiments of the Christian 
religion. Of this, probably the fiilse 
teadiers who had formed parties among 
them, had taken the advantage, and 
had pretended te carry the instruction 
to a much greater length, and to ex- 
plain many Sungs which Paul had left 
unexplained. Hence this division into 
parties. It became Paul, therefore, to 
state why he had confined his instruc- 
tions to the rudiments of the gospel 
among them — and this occuj^es the 
first part of the chapter, v. 1— -ll. The 
retJ^on was, that they were not pre- 
pared to receive higher instruction, but 
were carnal, and he could not address 
them as being prepared to enter fully 
into the more profound doctrines of the 
Christian religion. The proof that 
this was mh was found in the nst that 

spiritualy but as unto carnal, even 
ds untn babes * ia Christ. 

a ciS.14,15. b Heb^.12,13. lPet.2.2. 

they had been distracted witii disputes 
and strifes, which demonstrated that 
they were not prepared for the higher 
doctrines of Cfanstianity. He then 
rqfroves them for their contentions, on 
the ground that it was of littie conse- 
sequence by what instrumentality they 
had been brought to the knowledge of 
the gospel, and that there was no occa- 
sion for their strifes and sects. All 
success, whoever was the instrument, 
was to be traced to God (ver. 6~-7),. 
and the fact that one teacher or another 
had first instrticted them, or that one 
was more eloquent than another, shoukl 
not be- the foundation for contending 
sects. God was the source of aU 
blessings. Yet in order to show the 
real nature of his own work, in order 
to meet the whole of the objection, he 
goes on to .stater that he had done the 
most important part of the work in the 
church- himself He had laid the 
foundation; and all the others were 
but rearmg the superstructure. And 
much as hia instructions might appear 
to be elementary, and unimportant, yet 
it had been done with the same skill 
which an architect evinces who labouis 
that the- foundation may be well laid 
and finn. ver. 10, 11. The others 
who had succeeded him, whoever they 
were, were but builders upon this 
foundation. The foundation had been 
well laid, imd they should be careful 
how they built on iU ver. 12 — 16. 
The mention of this fiict — that he had 
laid the foundation, and that that 
foundation was Jesus Christ, and that 
they had been reared upon that as a 
church, leads him to the infermce (ver. 
16, 17), tiiat tiiey should be holy a» 
the temple of God ; and the conclusion 
from the whole is, (1.) That no man 
should deceive himself of which there 
was so much danger (ver. 18 — ^20) $ 
and, (2.) That no Christian should 
glory in men, for all things were theirs. 
It was no matter who l»d been their 



[A. D. 59. 

2 I have fed you with milk, 
and not with meat : for hitherto 

tetcher on earth, all belonged to God ; 
and they had a codimon interest in the 
mos^ eminent teachers of religion^ and 
they should rise above the petty rival- 
flhips of the world, and rejoice in the 
sssarance that all things belonged to 
them. ver. 21 — 29. 

1. And Jf brethren. See ch. iL 1. 
This is designed to meet an implied 
objection. He had said (ch. ii. 14 — 16) 
that Christians were able to under- 
stand all things. Yet, they would re- 
collect that ho had not addressed them 
as such, but had confined, himself to 
the more elementary parts of religion 
when he came among them. He had 
not entered upon the abstruse and dif- 
ficult points of theology — ^the points of 
qteculation in which the subtle Greeks 
80 much abounded and so much de- 
lighted. He now states the reason why 
he had not done it The reason was one 
that was most humbling to their pride; 
but it was the true reason, and fidthful- 
ness demanded that it should be itated. 
It was, that they were camalf and not 
qualified to understand the deep mys- 
teries of the gospd ; and the proof of 
this was unhaf^y at hand. It was 
too evident in their contenticHis and 
strifes, that tb«y were under fhe in- 
fluence of carnal feelings and views. 
Y Could ruft tpeak unto you as unto 
spkituoL < I could not regard you as 
spiritual — as qualified to enter into the 
full and higher truths of the-'gospel; I 
could not regard you as divested of the 
feelings whidi influence carnal men-— 
the men of the world, and I addressed 
you accordingly. I could not discourse 
to you as ta far««dvanced and well-in- 
formed Christians. I taught you the 
rudiments only of the Christian reli- 
gion.' He refera h€are, doubtless, to his 
instructions when he founded the 
church at Corinth. See Note, ch. ii. 13 
•—15. 1 But as unto camaL The iK((>nl 
carnal here (o-a^iunlf) is not the same 
V. hich in ch. iL 14 is translated natural 
(*t*fX'*^)^ TSktf re&n to one who is 

• ye were not able to bear it^ 
neither yet now are ye able. 

a Jno.16.12. 

^^^.■^^■^^M^^— ^^ I ■ ■■■■■■■■■■ ^^^^— n , ,■ Ml I ■■■■ m^ » 

unrenewed, and who is wholly under 
the influence of his sensual or ani- 
mal nature, and lA nowhere applied to 
Christians. TTiis is applied here, to 
Christians — but to thoso who lutve 
much of the remains of corruption^ 
and who are imperfectly acquainted 
with the nature of religion; babes in 
Christ It denotes those who still 
evinced the feelings and views which 
pertain to the flesh, in these unhappy 
contentions, and strifes, and divisions. 
" The works of the flesh are hatred, 
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, sedi- 
tions, envyings" (Gral. v. 20, 21) ; and 
these they had evinced in their divi- 
sions ; and Paul knew that their dan- 
ger lay in this directionf and he there- 
fere addressed them .according to their 
character. Paul applies the word to 
himself (Rom. vii. 14), *< fer I am car- - 
nal ;" and here it denotes- that they 
were as yet under the influence of the 
corrupt passions and dedres which the 
flesh produces. ^ As unto babes id 
Christ. As unto those recently bom 
into his kingdom, and unable to under- 
stand the profounder doctrines of the 
Christian religion. It is a common 
figure to apply the term infents and 
children to those who are feeble in un- 
derstanding, or unable, from any cause, 
to comprehend the more profound in- 
structions of science or religion. 

2. 7 have fed you with milk, Paul 
here continues the metaphor, whiclv is 
derived from the custom of feeding 
infants with the lightest food. Milk 
here evidently denotes the more simple 
and elementary doctrines of Chris- 
tianity — the doctrines of the new birth, 
of repentance, feith, &c. The same 
figure occurs in Heb. v. 11 — 14; and 
also in clasacal writers. See Wetstein. 
t And not with meat. Meat here de- 
notes the more sublime and mysterious 
doctrines of religion. If For hitherto* 
Formerly, when I came among you, 
and laid the foundations of the church. 
^ Not able to bear it You were not 




3 For ye are yet carbal : for 
whereas * there is among you 
envying, and strife, and ^divi- 
sions, are ye not carnal, and 
walk 'as men? 

a hmea 3.16. < otjiu^imu. * accord' 
ing taman. 

sulicieDtly adTanced in Christian know- 
ledge to comprehend the higher myste- 
ries of the gospel, f Neither yet 
now, 6ee. The reasdn why they were 
not then able he proceeds immediately 
to state. 

8. For ye are yet camdL Though 
yon are Christians, and are the friends 
of God in the main, jret your divi- 
sions and strifes show that you are yet, 
in some degree, under the influence of 
the principles whi6h govern the men 
of thu world. Men who are governed 
solely by the principles of this world, 
evince a spirit of strife, emulation and 
contention ; and just so far as you are 
engaged in strife, just so far do you 
show that you are governed by their 
principles and feelings. ^ Tar where" 
08, I^proof that you axe carnal I 
^peal>to your contenticms and strifes, 
f Envying (^hos), zeal ; n«ed here in 
the. sense of envy, iis it is in James iijL 
14. 16. It denotes, properly, any fer- 
vour of mind (from ^«), and may be 
applied to any exciting ani^ agitating 
passion. The epvy here referred to, 
was that whiSh surpse from the superior 
advantages and endowments which 
some claimed or possessed over others. 
Envy everywhere is a fruitful cause of 
strife. Most contentions in the church 
are somehow usually connected with 
envy. ^ And strife. Contention and 
dispute. ^ And. divisions. Dissent 
sions and quarrels. The margin cor- 
rectly renders it faxtions. The idea 
i% that they were split up into parties, 
and that those parties were imbittered 
with mutual recriminations and re- 
proaches, as they always^ are in a 
cfawch. ^ And walk as men. Marg. 
according to man. The word waVc 
is used often in the Scriptures in the 
of eonduct or ad. Yoo conduct 

4 For while one saith, I ^ am 
of Paul ; and another, I am of 
Apollos ; are ye not carnal ? , 

6 Who then is Paul, and 
who is Apollos, but iuinisteril 

as men, t. e, as men commonly do ; 
you evince the same spirit that the 
great mass of men do. Instead of be- 
ing filled with love ; of being united 
and harmonious as the members of the 
same &mily ought to be, you are split 
up into factions as the men of the 
world are. 

4. For while one saHh^ dtc See 
Note, ch. i. 12. 

5.. Who then is Paul, Ac See 
Notes, ch. L 13. Why should a party 
be fprmed which should be named afler 
Paul? What has he done or taught 
that should lead to this ? What emi- 
nence has he that should induce any to 
caH themselves by his name 1 He is 
on a level with the other apostles ; and 
all are but ministers, or servants, and 
have no claim to the honour of giving 
names to sects and parties. God is 
the fountain of aU your blessings, and 
whoever may have been the instru- 
ment by whom you have believed, it is 
improper to regard them as in any 
sense the^ fountain of your blessings^ 
or to arrange yourselves under their 
name. ^ But ministers. Our word 
minister, as now used, does not ex- 
press the proper force of this word« 
We in applying it to preachers of the 
gospel do not usually advert to the ori- 
ginal sense of the word, and the rea- 
sons why it was given to them. The 
original word (itdatofot) denotes pro- 
perly servan/^ in contradistinction from 
makers (Matt. xx. 26; xxiii 11. 
Mark ix. 35; x. 43); and denotes 
those of course who are in an inferior 
rank of life. They had not command, 
or authority, but were subject U> the 
command of others.. It is applied to 
the preachers of the gospel because 
they aire employed in the service^oi 
Qod ; because &ey go at his command* 


[A. D. 69. 

by whom ye believedy esren* 
as the Lord gave to every 


and are subject to his control and di- 
nction« They have not original au- 
&ority, nor are they the eonrce of influ- 
ence or power. . llie idea l^re is, that 
Ihey were the mere instnunentfl or 
•errants by whom God cooT^ed all 
blessings to the Corinthians ; that they 
as ministers were on a level, were en- 
gaged in the same work, and that there- 
fore, it was improper for them to form 
parties that should be called by their 
names. \ By whom. Through whom 
Ui c&), by whose instrumentality. 
They were not the original source of 
laith, but were the mere serrants of 
God in conveying to them the know- 
ledge of that trutibi by which tiiey were 
to be saved. ^ Even as the Lordgaoe 
to every man, Ood is the original 
source of fiiith;j and it is by his influ- 
ence that any one is brought to be- 
lieve. See Note, Rom. xii. 8, 6. There 
were diversities of gifts among the 
Corinthian Christians, as there are in 
all Christians. And it is here implied, 
(1.) That all that any one had was to 
be traced to God as its author; (2.) 
That he is a sovereign, and dispenses 
his favours to all as he pleases ; (3.) 
That tance God had conferred those fa- 
vours, it was improper for the Corin- 
thians to divide themselves into sects 
and call themselves by the name of 
their teachers, for all that they had was 
to be traced to God alone. This idea, 
tiiat (dl the gifts and graces which 
Christians had, were to be traced to Gt>d 
alone, was one which the apostle Paul 
often insisted on ; and if this idea had 
been kept before Uie minds and hearts 
of all Christians, it would have pre- 
vented no small part of the contentions 
in the church, and the formation of 
no small part of the sects in the Chris- 
^sn world. 

6. I have planted. The apostle 
here compares the estabUshment of the' 
charch at Corinih to the planting of a 
vynjB, a tree, or of grain. The figure 

6 I have planted, A^oUos wa- 
tered; hut God * gave the in- 


b c.15.10. 

is taken from agriculture, -and the 
meaning is obvious. Paul established 
the church. He was the first preacher 
in Corinth ; and if any distinction 
was du9 to any one, it was rather to 
him than to the teachers who had la- 
boured there subsequently ; but he r^ 
garded himself as worthy- of no such 
honour as to be the head of a party, 
for it was not himself, but God who 
had given the increase. ^ Apollos 
watered. This figure ia taJien fix>m 
the practice of watering a tender plant, 
or of watering a garden qt field. This 
was necessary in a special manner in 
.eastern countries. Their fields bo- 
came parched and dry from their long 
droughts, and it was necessary to irri- 
gate them by artificial means. The 
sense here is, that Paul had laboured 
in establishing the church at Corinth ; 
but that subsequently Apollos had la- 
boured to increase it, and to build it up.. 
It is certain that Apollos did not go to 
Corinth until after Paul had left it. See 
Acta xviii. 18. Comp. 27. ^ God gave 
the increase, God caused the seed 
sown to take root and spring up ; and 
God blessed the irrigation of the tender 
plants as they sprung up, and caused 
them to grow. This idea is still taken 
from the husbandman. It would be 
vain for the 'farmer to sow his seed 
unless God should give it life. There 
is no life in the seed, nor is there any 
inherent power in the earth to make it 
grow. God only, the giver of all life, 
can quicken the germ. in the 8e»ed, and 
make it live. So it would, be in vain 
for the farmer to Water his plant 
unless God should bless it.^ There is 
no living principle in the* water; np 
inherent power in the rains of heaven 
to make the plant grow. It is adapted, 
ind^d, to this, and the seed would liot 
germinate if it was not planted, nor 
grow if it was not watered ; but the life 
is still from God.- He arranged these 
meansi and he gives lifo to the tender 




T So then neither • is he that 
planteth any thing, neither he 
that watereth, hut God that giv- 
eih the increase. 

a Jno.15^. 2Cor.l2.9— 11. 

blade, and sustains it And so. it is 
with the word of life. It has Ao in^ 
lierent power to produce effect by itself. 
The power is not in the naked word, 
nor in hinv that plants, nor in him that 
waters, nor in the heart where it is 
•«own, but in God. But there is a 
fitness of the means to the end. The 
word is adapted to save the soul. The 
seed most be sown or it will not ger- 
minate. Truth muet be sown in the 
heart, and the heart must be prepared 
for it — as the earth must be ploughed 
and made mellow, or it will not spring 
up. It must be cultivated with assidu- 
ous care, or it will produce nothing. 
But still it is all of Ood — as much so as 
the yellow harvest of* the field, after all 
(he toils^of the husbandman, is of God. 
And as the farmer who has just views, 
will take no praise to himself because 
his corn and his vine start up and 
grow after all his care, but will ascribe 
ali to God's unceasing, beneficent 
agency ; so will the minister of religion, 
and so will every Chris^an, after all 
their care, ascribe all to God. 

7. Any thing. This is to be taken 
comparatively. They are nothing in 
comparison^ with God. Their agency 
is of no importance compared with his. 
See Note, ch. i. 28. It does not mean 
that their agency ought not to be per- 
fonned-; that it is not important, and 
indispensable in its place ; but that the 
honour ii due to God. — ^Their agency 
is indispensable. God Gould make 
seed or a tree grow if they were not 
planted in the earth. But he does not 
dEb it. The agency of the husbandman 
is indispensable in the ordinary opera- 
tions of his providence. If he does 
not plant, God will not make the grain 
or the tree grow. God blesses his la- 
bouis i be does not work a miracle. 
God attends effort with success; he 
does not inter^ in a miraculous man- 

8 Now he that planteth and he 
that watereth are one : and every 
man * shall receive his own re- 
n^ard according to his own labour. 

b Fs.62.12. Rev.22.l2. 

ner to accommodate the indolence of 
men. So in the matter of salvation. 
The effi>rt« of "ministers would be of 
no avail without God. They could do 
nothing in the salvation of the soul 
unless H^ should give the* increase 
But their labours are as indispensable 
and as necessary, as are those of thd 
farmer in the production of a harvest. 
And as every fkrmer could say, •my la- 
bours are nothing without God, who 
alone can give the increase,' so it is 
with eveiy minister of the gospel. 

8. Are one (h iio-tv). They ari 
not the same person ; but they are one 
in the following respects: (1.) They 
are united in reference to the same 
work. Though they are engaged in 
different things— for planting and wi^ 
tering are different kinds of work, yet 
it is one in regard to the end to h6 
gained. The employments do not at 
all clash, but tend to the same end. It 
is not as if one planted, and the other 
was engaged in pulling up. (2.) Their 
Work is one, because one is as necessary 
as the other. If the grain was not 
planted there would be no use in pour- 
ing water there ; if not watered, there 
would be no use in planting. The 
work of one is as needful, therefore, as 
the other; and the one should not un- 
dervalue the labours of the other. (3.) 
They are one in regard to God. They 
are both engaged in performing one 
work; God is performing another. 
There are not three parties or portions 
of the Work, but two. They two per- 
form one part of the work ; God alone 
performs the other. Theirs would be 
useless without him ; he would not or- 
dinarily perform his without their per- 
forming their part They could not 
do his part if they would — as they can- 
not make a piant'^7Y>u; >• he cou&t ^r- 
form their part — as he could plant and 
water without the fiirmer ; but it is not 



[A. D. 69. 

9 For we are labourers to- 
lather •with God: ye are God's 

a 2Cor.6.1. 

in aocoidaaoe with his smngements to 
do it If And etfcry man. The argu- 
ment of the apostle here has reference 
only to ministers ; but it is equally true 
of all men, that they shall receive their 
proper reward. If Shall receive. In 
the day of judgment, when God de- 
cides the destiny of men. The deci- 
sions of that day will be siiiply deter- 
mining what every moral agent ought 
to receive. ^ His own reward. His 
fit, or proper (ruf Ukv) reward; that 
which pertains to him, or which shall 
be a proper expression of the character 
and value of his labour. — The word 
reward (ftio^d-cr) denotes properly that 
which is given by contract for service 
xendered; an equivalent in value for 
services or for kindness. Note, Rom. 
IT.. 4. In the Scriptures it denotes 
pay, wages, recompense given to d.ay- 
labourera, to soldiers, &c It is applied 
often, as here, to the retribution which 
God will make tq men in the day of 
judgment; and is applied to the for 
wurs which he will then bestow on 
them, or to the punishment which he 
will inflict as the reward of their deeds. 
Instances of the former sense occur in 
Matt V. 12 ; vi. Luke vi. 23. 35. Rev. 
xi. 18 ; of the latter in 2 Pet ii. 13. 
15. — In regard to the righteous, it does 
not imply merit, or that they deserve 
heaven; but it means that God will 
render to them that which, liccording 
to the terms of his new covenant, he 
has promised, and which shall be a fit 
ozpression of his acceptance of their 
services. It is proper, according to 
these arrangements, that they should 
be blessed in heaven. It would not be 
proper that they should be cast down 
to hell. — ^Their original and their sole 
title to eternal life is the grace of God 
through Jesus Christ ; the measure, or 
amount of the fiivours bestowed on 
them there, shall be according to the 
services which they render on earth. 
A purent may resolve to divide his 
sstate among his sons, and their title 

^ husbandry, ye are God's buEd- 

1 or, Ullage. b Heb.3.6. lPet.2^. 

to anything may be derived from his 
mere fiivour; but he may determino 
that it shall be divided according to 
their expressions of attachment, and 
to their obedience to him. 

9. For we are lahourera together 
vdth God (Giot/ yd^ w/jlv 9Vf^<i), Wo 
are God's co-workers. A similar ex- 
pression occurs in 2- Cor. vi. 1, *<We 
then as workers together with him," Ac. 
This passage is capable of two« signi- 
fications : first, as in our translation, 
that they were co-workers with God; 
engaged with him in his work, that he 
and they co-operated in the production 
of the eSe<A ; or that it was a joint" 
work: as we speak of a partnercy, or. 
of joint-effort amopg men. So many 
interpreters have undergtood this. If 
this is the sense of the passage, then it 
means that as a farmer may be said to 
be a co-worker with God ^en ho 
plants and tills his field, or does that 
w ithout which God would not work in 
tliat case, or without which a harvest 
would not be produced, so the Christian 
minister co-operates with God in pro- 
ducing the same result He is engaged 
in performng that which is indispensable 
to the end ; and God also, by his Spirit, 
co-operates with the same design. If 
this be the idea, it gives a peculiar 
sacredness to the work of the ministiy, 
and indeed to the work of the farmer 
and the vinedresser. There is no higher 
honour than for a man to be engaged in 
doing the same things which Crod does, 
and participating with him in accom- 
plishmg his glorious plans. But doubts 
have been suggested in regard to this, 
interpretation. (1.) The Greek does 
not of necessi^ imply this. It is 
literally, not we are his co-partner% 
but we are his fellow labourers, i, e. 
fellow labourers in his employ, under 
his direction— -as we say of servants of 
the sa^e rank they are fellow labomreis 
of the same master, not meaning that 
the master was engaged in working 
with them, bat that they were fellow 

A. D. d9.} 



10 According ■ to the grace 

a Rom.I2.a 

laboviran one with another in his em- 
ployment. (2.) There is no expression 
that is parallel to this. There is none 
that speaks of God's operating jointly 
with his creatures in producing the 
aame result They may be engaged 
in regard to the .same end ; but the 
uphere of God's operations and of their 
operations is distinct God does One 
thing; and they do another, though 
they may contribute to the same result. 
The sphere of Gbd^s operations in the 
growth of a tree is totally distinct from 
Uiatof the man who plants it The 
man who planted it has no agency in 
causing the juices to circulate ; in ex- 
panding the bud or the leaf; that is, in 
the proper work of God. — In 3 John 
8, Christians are indeed said to be 
'' fellow helpers to the truth" (jripn^) 
trV ihjM*) ; that is, they operate with 
the tyth, and contribute by their 
labours and influence to that effect 
In Mark also (xvL 20), it is said that 
the apostles <* went forth and preached 
everywhere, the Lord working with 
them" ('Tov Mu^icxi awt^<iZrroi), where 
the phrase means that the Lord co- 
operated with them by miracles, 6cc 
The Lord, by his own proper energy, 
and in hb own sphere, contributed to 
the success of the work in which they 
were engaged. (3.) The main design 
aiidr scope of this whole passage is to 
show that God is all — ^that the apostles 
are nothing ; to represent the apostles 
not as joint-workers with God, but as 
woiking by themselves, and God as 
alone giving efficiency to all that was 
done. The idea is, that of depressing 
or humbling the apostles, and of exalt- 
ing God ; and this idea would not be 
consistent with the interpretation that 
they were joinMabourers with him. 
■While, therefore, the Greek would bear 
the interpretation conveyed in our trans- 
lationfthe sense may perhaps be, that 
the apostles were joint^labourers wititi 
each other in God's service ; that they 
were united in their work, and that 
God was all in all ; that they were like 


of God which is given unto 

servants employed in the sendee of • 
master, without saying that the master 
participated with them*in their work. 
This idea is conveyed in the translation 
of Doddridge, " we are the fellow Iv 
bourers of God." So Rosenmuller. 
Calvin, however, Grotius, Whitby, and 
Bloomfield, coincide with our version 
in the interpretation. The Syriac reDp 
dere it « We work with God." The 
Vulgate, ^< We are the aids of God/' 
^ Ye are GocTa husbandry (yt^tfui) \ 
margin, tillage. This word occurs no* 
where else in the New Testament. R 
properly denotes a tilled or euttivaled 
field! And the idea is, that the church 
at Corinth was the field on which God 
had bestowed the labour of tillage, or 
culture, to produce fruit The word is 
used by the LXX, in Gen. xxvi. 14, as 
the translation of m^j?, " For he had 
possession of flocks," ^c. ; in Jer. xli. 23^ 
as the translation of ipj, a yoke ; and 
in Prov, xxiv. 30 ; xxxi. 16, as the trans* 
lation of inir, a field t " I went by tho 
field of the slothful," ^. The sensQ 
here is, that all their culture was of 
God ; Uiat as a church they under 
his care; and that all that had been 
produced in them was to be traced to 
bis cultivation. ^ God^s building. 
This is another metaphor. The object 
of Paul was to show that aU that had 
been done for them had been really 
accomplished by God. For this pur- 
pose he first says that they were God's 
cultivated field; then he changes the 
figure; draws his illustration from 
architecture, and says, that they had 
been built by him as an architect rears 
a house. It does not rear itself; but it 
is reared by another. So ho says of 
the Corintluans, * Ye are the building 
which God erects.' The same figure 
is used in 2 Cor. vi 16 and £ph. ii. 21« 
See also Heb. iii. 6.. 1 Pet. iL 5. The 
idea is, that God is the supreme agent 
in the founding and establishing of the 
diurch, in all its gifts and graces. 

10. . According to the grace of God, 
By the fitTonr of God which u gkeq 



met as a wise master-builder, 
I have laid the foundation, 

to me. All thftt Paul had done had 
been by the m^re favoyr of God. His 
appointment was from him; and all 
the skill which he had shown, and all 
the agency which he. had employed, 
had been from him. The architectural 
figure is here continued with some 
striking additions and illustrations. By 
the ** gmce of God" here, Paul probably 
i^eana hb apostleship to the Gentiles, 
which had been conferred on him by 
the mere fiivour of God, and all. the 
wisdom, and skill, and success which 
he had evinced in founding the church. 
^ As a wise master-builder, Gr. Ar- 
chitect, The word does not imply that 
Paul had any pre-eminence over bis 
brethren, biit that he had proceeded in 
his work as a skilful architect, who 
■ecuies first a firm foundation. Every 
builder begins with the foundation; 
and Paul had proceeded in this man- 
ner in laying first a firm foundation on 
which the church could be- reared. The 
word voise here means skilful, judicious. 
Comp. Matt vii. 24. ^ I have laid 
the foundation. What diis foundation 
was, he states in ver. 1 1 . The meaning 
here is, that the church at Corinth had 
been at first established by Paul. See 
Acts xviii. 1, ^. ^ And^ another. 
Other teachers. I have communicated 
to the church the first elements of Chris- 
tian knowledge. O^Men follow out this 
instruction, and edify the church. The 
discussion here undergoes a slight 
change. In the former part of the 
chapter. Christians are compared to a 
building ; here the doctrines which are 
taught in the church are compared to 
▼arious parts of a building. Grotivs. 
8e9 similar instances of translation in 
Matt xiiL Mark iv. John z. 1 But 
let every man, dbc Every man who 
is a professed teacher. Let him be 
carefiil what instructions he shall give 
to a church that has been founded by 
apostolic hands, and that is established 
tti the only true foundation. This is 

[A. D. 69. 


and another buildeth thereon. 
But let every man take heed 

designed to guard against false instnuy 
tion and the instructions of fiilse teaeh* 
ers. Men should take heed what'iiH 
stmction they give to a church, ( 1 .) Be^ ^ 
cause of the fact that the church bemngs 
to God, and they should be cautious 
what directions they give to it? (2.) Be- 
cause it is important that ChristSans* 
should not only be on the true foundtr 
tion, but'^that they shouM be fiiUy iah 
structed in the nature of their religion, 
and the church should be permitted to 
rise in its trua beauty and lovelineai; 
(3.) Because of the evils which leaoH 
from fidse instruction. Even when ths . 
foundation is firm, incalculable evils 
will result ttom the want of just and 
discriminating instruction. Error san«y 
tifies no one. The efiect of it even on 
the minds of true Christians is to mar 
their piety ^ to dim its lust^ ; ,and to 
darken their minds. No Chnsdian east 
enjoy religion except under the full* 
orbed shining of the word of truth; 
and every man, therefore, who gives 
fiiise' instruction, is responsible for all 
thd darkless he causes, and for all the 
want of ^comfort which true Christiana 
under his teaching may experience. 
(4.) Every man must give an account 
of the nature of his instructions ; and / 
he should therefore " take heed to him* 
self, and his doctrine" (1 Tim. iv. 19)^ 
and preach such doctrine as shall bear 
the test of the great day. And firom 
this we learn, that it is important 
that the church should be buik in 
the true fomadation; and, that it la 
scarcely less important that it should 
be built up in the knowledge of the 
truth. Vast evils are constantly occur- 
ring in the church for the want of pro- 
per instruction to young converts. Many 
seem to feel that provided the foun- 
dation be well laid, that is all that i« 
needed But the grand thing which 
is wanted at the present time, is, thai 
those who are converted should, w 
soon as poasible, be instructed raiKW 

A. D. 59.] 



V how \e buildeth thereupon. 
11 For other foundation can 
no man lay than that is laid, * 
which is Jesus Christ. 

a l8a.28.16. Matt.16.ia Eph.2.20. 2Tim.2.I9. 

in the nature of the religion which they 
have embraced. What would he thought 
6f a farmer who should plant a tree^ 
and never water or trim it ; who should 
plant his seed, and never cultivate the 
corn as it springs up ; who should sow 
his fields/ and then think that all is 
^weH, ai^ leave it to be overrun with 
weeds and thorns? Piety is often 
stunned, its early shootings blighted, 
ita rapid growth checked for the want 
of early culture in the church. And 
perhaps there is no one thing in which 
pastors taiore frequently fail than in re- 
ginrd to the culture which ought to be 
bestowed on those who are converted — 
especially in early life. Our Saviour's 
views on this were expressed in the 
admonitJ6n to Peter, <* Feed my lambs." 
John xxi. 15. 

11. For other foundation. It is 
implied by the'^course of the argument 
here, that tkia was the foundation which 
had been laid at Corinth, and on which 
the church there had been reared. And 
it is affirmed that no other foundation 
can be laid. A foundation is that on 
which la building is reared : the foun- 
dation of a church is the doctrine on 
which it is established; that is, the 
doctrines which its members hold — 
Ibose troths which lie at the basis of 
their hopes, and by embracing which 
they . have been conveited to God. 
5 Can no man lay. That is, there is 
no other true foundation. ^ Which is 
Jesus Christ, Christ is often called 
the foundation ; the stone ; the comer 
stone on which the ehurch is reared. 
Isa. Tcxviii. 16. Matt. xxi. 42. Acts iv. 
11. Erfj. u. 20. 2 Tim. ii. 19. 1 Pet. 
it. 6. The meaning is, that no true 
' chnrch can be reared which docs not 
embrace and hold the true doctrines 
jnespecting him — those which pertain 
to his incarnation, his divine nature, 
insUiictions, his example, lus atone- 

12 Now if any man build 
upon this foundation gold, sil- 
ver, precious stones, wood, hay, 
stubble ; 

ment, his resurrection, and ascenin Q i^ 
The reason why i!o tiue church ^9X\ he 
established without embracufiig the truth 
as it is in Christ is, that it is by him 
only that men can be saved ; and whei^p 
this doctrine is wanting, all* is w;anting 
that enters into the essential idea of a 
church. The fundamental doctrines of 
the Christian religion must be em- 
braced, or a church cannot exist ; and 
where those doctrines are denied, no 
association of men can be recognised 
as a church of God. Nor can the foun- 
dation be modified or shaped so as to 
suit the wishes of men. It must be 
laid as it is in the Scriptures ; and the 
superstructure must be reared on that 

12. Now if any man. If any 
teacher in the doctrines which he in- 
culcates; or any private Christian in 
the hopes which he cherishes. The 
main discussioir doubtless, has respect 
to the teachers of religion. Paul car- 
ries forward the metaphor in this and 
the following verses with respect to Uie 
building^. He supposes that the foun^ 
dation is laid ; .that it is a true founda- 
tion; that the essential doctrines in 
regard to the Messiah are the real basis 
on which the edifice is reared. But, he 
says, that even admitting that, it is a 
subject of vast importance to attend to 
the kind of structure which shall be 
reared on that; whether it shall ^ 
truly beautiful, and valuable in itself, 
and such as shall abide the trial of the 
last great day ; or whether it be mean» 
worthless, erroneous, and such as shall 
at last be destroyed. There had been 
some difierence of opinion in regard to 
the interpretation of this passage, aris- 
ing from the question whether the 
apostle designed to represent one ox two 
buildings. The former has been th# 
more common interpretation, and the 
sense acconling to that is, 'the tnwt 



[A. D. 6d. 

foundation is laid; bat on that it is 
improper ta place ^ile and worthlegs 
miUeriaia. It would be absurd to work 
them in with those which are vailiable ; 
it would be absurd to work in, in rear- 
ing a building, wood, and hay, and stub- 
Ue, with gold, and silver, and precious 
ibnies ; there would be a want of con- 
cinnity and beauty in this. So in the 
spiritual temple. There is an impro- 
priety, an unfitness, in rearing the 
s|nritual temple, to interweave truth 
with error; sbund doctrine with false.' 
See Calvin and Macknight Grotius 
renders it, '*Paul feigns to himself 
an edifice, partly regal, and partly rus- 
tic. He presents the image of a house 
whose walls are of marble,^ whose 
columns are made partly of gold and 
pardy of silver, whose beams are of 
wood, and whose roof thatched with 
straw." Others, among whom are 
Wetstein, Doddridge, Rosenmiiller, 
suppose that ht refers to hvo buildings 
that might be reared on this foundation 
•—either one that should be magnifi- 
cent and splendid ; or one that should 
be a rustic cottage, or mean hovel, 
thatched with straw, and made of 
planks of wood. Doddridge paraphrases 
the passage, *^If any man build, I 
say, upon thin foundation, let him 
look to the materials and the nature of 
his work; whether he raise a stately 
and magnificent tempte upon it, adonv 
ed asit were like the house of God at 
Jerusalem, with gold and silver, and 
large, beautiful, and costly stones ;^ or 
a mean hovel, consisting of nothing 
better than planks of wood roughly put 
together, and thatched with hay and 
stubble. That is, let him look to it, 
whether he teach the substantial, vital 
truths of Christianity, and which it 
was intended to support and illustrate ; 
or set himself to propagate vain sub- 
tilties and conceits on the one hand, 
or legal rites and Jewish traditions on 
the other; which although they do not 
entirely destroy the foundation, disgrace 
it, as a mean edifice would do a grand 
and extensive foundation laid with 
great pomp and solemnity." This pro- 
bably ezpresses the correct sense of the 

passage* The fbundation may be well 
laid ; yet on this foundation an edifice 
may be reared that shall be truly mag» 
nificent, or one that shall be mean and 
worthless. So the true foundation of a 
church may be laid, or of individual 
conversion to God in the true doctrine 
respecting Christ That church, or 
that individual may be built up and 
adorned with all the graces which truth 
is fitted to produce ; or there may be 
false principles and teachings super* 
added ; doctrines that shall delude and 
lead astray ; or views and feelings cul< 
tivated as piety, and believed to be 
piety, which may be no part of true r»> 
ligion, but which are mere delusion and 
fanaticism. ^ Gold, silver. On the 
meaning of these words it is not ne- 
cessary to dwell ; or Uk lay too much 
stress. Gold is the emblem of that 
which is valuable and precious, and 
may be the emblem of that truth and 
holiness which shall bear the trial 
of the great day. In relation to the 
figure which the apostle here uses, 
it may refer to the fact that co- 
lumns or beams in an edifice might be 
gilded; or perhaps, as in the temple^ 
that they might be solid gqld, so as to 
bear the action of intense heat ; or so 
that fire would not destroy them.-»So 
the precious doctrines of truth, and aU 
the feelings, views, opinions, habits, 
practices, which truth produces in an 
individual or a church* will bear the 
trial of the last great day. t Predaua 
stones. By the stones here referred ti^ 
are not meant gems which are esteem- 
ed of so much value for ornaments, but 
beautiful and valuable marbles. The 
word precious 'here (rtfxiwc) meane 
those which are obtained at a price, 
which are costly and valuable ; and is 
particularly applicable, therefore, to the 
costly marbles which were used in 
building. The figurative sense here 
does not differ materially firom that 
conveyed by the silver and gold. By 
this edifice thus reared on the true 
foundation, we are to understand, (1.) 
The true doctrines which should be 
employed to build up a church — doo* 
•trines which would bear the test of 




13 Every man^s work shall 
be made manifest: fbr the day 
shall declare it, because it shall 

the trial of the last day; and, (2.) 
Such views ia regard to piety, and to 
duty ; ^ch feelings and principles of 
action^ as should be approved, and seen 
to be genuine piety in the day of "judg- 
lOent ^ Wood. That might be easily 
burned. An edifice reared if wood 
instead of marbl^, or slight buildings, 
such as were often put up for tempo* 
nury purposes in the east — as cottages, 
places for watching their vineyards, 
dec. See my Note on Isa. i. 8. ^ Hai/^ 
gtubble. Used for th^tc^ng the build- 
ing, or for a rooC Perhi^ps, also, grass 
was sometimes employed in some way 
to make the walls of the building. 
Such an edifice would bum readily; 
would be constantly eiqposed to ta!ke 
fire; By this is meant, (1.) Errors 
and false doctrines, such as will not be 
found to be true in the day of judg* 
ment, and as will then be swept away; 
(2.) Such practices fl)nd mistaken 
views of piety, as shall grow out of 
folse doctrines and errors. — ^The founr 
dation may be firm. Those who are 
referred to may b^ building on the Lord 
Jesus, and may be true Christiaps. 
Yet Uiere is much error among thoa^ 
ivho are not Christians. There aire 
many things mistakehjoi piety which 
will yet be seen to be felse. There is 
much enthusiasm, wildfire, fanaticbm, 
bigotry ; much affected humility ; much 
that is supposed to be orthodoxy ; much 
regard to forms an^ ceren^onies; to 
"days, and months, and times, and 
years" (Gal! iv. 10) ; much over-heat- 
ed zeal, and much precision, and so- 
lemn sanctimoniousness ; much regard 
for ezemal ordinances where the heart 
is wanting, that shall be found to be 
^se, and that shall be swept away in 
the day of judgment 

13. Every man*8 work shall be 
made mamjitt. What every man has 
built on this foundation shall be seen. 
Whether he has held truth or error ; 

* be revealed by fire ; and the • 
fire shall try every man's worl^y 
of what sort it is. 


a Zech.133. 2Pet.U'; 4.12. 

"Whether he has had correct views of 
piety or felse; whether what he has 
done has been what he should have 
done or not \ For the day. The day 
of judgment The great day which 
shall reveal the secrets <^ all hearty 
j and the truth in regard to what every 
man has done. The event will show 
what edifices on the true foundation 
are firmly, and what are weakly built 
Perhaps the word day here may mean 
time in general, as we say, ^ time wiH 
show'' — and as the Latin adage says, 
dies docebit; but it is mor^ natural to 
refer it to the day pf judgment , Y Bj^ 
cause it shaU be revealeabyfire, TH9 
work, the edifice which shall be built 
on the true foundation shall b^ mado 
known amidst the fire of the great day. 
The fire which is here referred to, i9 
doubtless, that which shall attend th0 
consummation of all thuiga — ^the close 
of the world. That tlie world shall he 
destroyed b^ fire, and that the soleinnir 
ties of the judgment shall be ushered 
in by a univers^ conflagratioD, is fullj[ 
and frequently receal^ See Ifsa. Ixvi^ 
lb. 2 Thess. i. a ?.Pet iii. 7, 10* 11. 
The burning fires of that da^, Pai4 
saysj^shall reveal the character of ever? 
man's work, as ^e sh^a light ^n ^ 
around, and discloses the true i^ature 
of things. It may be observed* hP^T 
ever, that mapy cntips suppose thi£^ to 
ref^r to the fire of persecution, &c 
Maclenig}^, Whitby supposes that the 
apostle refers to the approaching de- 
struction of Jerusalem. Others, as 
Grotius, RosenmUUer, &c. suppose that 
the reference i^ to time in general ; it 
shall be declared eve long ; it shall be 
seen whether those tl^ngs which are 
built on the true foundation, are true 
by the teat of time, dec. But the most 
natural ii^terpretation is tlu^t which rf| 
fers it to the day of judgment \ Aia^^ 
the fire shall try eoerif nym^s uwi^ 
It ia the prqgerty of 4re to test ^ 



[A. D. 6^. 

14 If any man's work abide 

which he hath built there- 

" ■ ■■III ,11 I 

qualities of objects. Thus, gold and 
silver, so far from being destroyed by 
fire, are purified firom dross. Wood, 
hay, stubble, are consumed. The 
power of fire to try or test the nature 
of metals, or other objects, is often re- 
ferred to in the Scripture. Comp. Isa. 
!▼. 4 ; xxiv. 15. Mai. iii. 2. 1 Pet. i. 7. 
It is not to be supposed here that the 
material fire of the last day shall have 
any tendency to purify the soul, or to 
remove that which is unsound ; but 
that the investigations and trials of the 
judgment shall remove all that is evil, 
as fire acts with reference to gold and 
olver. As they are not burned but 
purified ; as they pass unhurt through 
the intense heat of the furnace, so 
shall all that is genuine pass through 
the trials of the last great day, of which 
trials the burning world shall be the 
antecedent and the emblem. That 
great day shall show what is genuine 
and what is not 

14. If any man^9 work abide, &c. 
If it shall appear that he has taught the 
true doctrines of Christianity, and in- 
culcated right practices and views of 
piety, and himself cherished right feel- 
ings: if the trial of the great day, 
when the real qualities of all objects 
shall be known, shall show this. ^ He 
thaU receive a reward. According to 
the nature of his work. See Note on 
▼er. 8. This refers, I suppose, to the 
proper rewards on the day of judgment, 
and not to the honours and the recom- 
pense which he may receive in this 
world. If aU that he has taught and 
done shall be proved ' to have been 
genuine and pure, then his reward 
shall be in proportbn. - 

\b. If any man^s work ahaU be 
burned. If it shall not be found to 
bear the test of the investigation of 
that' day — as a cottage of wood, hay, 
and stubble would not bear the appli- 
cation of fire. If his doctrines have 
not been true ; if he has had mistaken 
Tiews oi piety; if he has nourished 
feelings whidi ke thought were those 

upon, he shall receive a reward. 
15 If any man's work shall 

of religion; and inculcated practices 
which, however well meant, are not 
such as the gospel produces ; if he has 
fidlen into error of opinion, feeUng, 
practice, however conscientious, yet he 
shall suffer loss. ^ He shall suffer 
lo88, (1.) He shall not be elevated to 
as high a rank and .to as high happi- 
ness as he otherwise would. That 
which flb supposed weuld be regarded 
as acceptable by the Judge,, and re- 
warded accordingly, shall be stripped 
away, and shown to be unfounded and 
false ; and in consequence, he shall not 
obtain those elevated rewards which he 
anticipated. This, compared with what 
he expected, may be regarded as a lose. 
(2.) He shall be injuriously affected 
by this for ever. It' shall be a detrp' 
meat to him to all eternity. The effects 
shedl be felt in all his residence in hea- 
ven — ^not producing misery — ^but at- 
tending him with the consciousnesg 
that he might have been raised to su- 
perior bliss m the eternal abode. — ^The 
phrase here literally means, *' he shall 
be mulcted." The word is a law 
term, and means that he shall be fined, 
i. e. he shall suffer detrim*^ iit ^ But 
he himself shall be saved. The apos- 
tie all along has supposed that the true 
foundation was laid (ver. 11), and if 
that IS laid, and the edifice is reared 
upon that, the person who does it shall 
be safe. There may be much error, 
and many felse views of leligion, aiid 
much imperfection, still the man that 
is building on the true foundation shall 
be safe. His errors and imperfections 
shall be removed, and he may occupy 
a lower place in heaven, but he sfiaU 
be safe. ^ Yet so as by fire (le Sia 
Trui^f). This passage has greatly per-" 
plexed commentators; but probably 
without any good reason. The apos- 
tle does not say that Christians will be 
doomed to the fires of purgatory ; nor 
that they will pass through fire; nor 
that they will bs exposed to pains and 
punishment at all ; but he simply car- 
ries out the figure which he com- 




i>e burned, he shall suffer loss.: 
but he himself shall be sayed ; 
yet so • as by fire. 

aZech.3.2. Jude23. 

monced, and sa^ that they will be 
saved, ac if the action i>f fire had been 
felt on the edifice on which he is Speak- 
ing. That is, ajs fire would consume 
the wood, hay, and stubble, «o on the 
great day evety thing that is erroneous 
and imperfect in Christians shall be re- 
moved, and that which is true and 
genuine shall be preserved as if it had 
jMssed through fire. Their whole cha- 
racter and opinions shall be investi- 
gated ; mid that which is good shall be 
approved ; and that whifth is fiilse and 
erroneous be removed. The idea is 
not that of a man whose house is burnt 
over his head ai)d who escapes through 
the flames^ nor that of a man who is 
subjected to the pains and fires of pur- 
gatory ; but that of a man who had 
been spending his time and strength to 
little purpose ; who had built, indeed, 
on the true foundation, but who had' 
reared so much on it which was un- 
aound, and erroneous, and false, that he 
himself would be saved with great dif- 
ficiiUy, and with the losi% of much of 
that reward which he had expected, aa 
if the fire had paajBed over him and his 
works. The, simple idea, therefore, is, 
that that which is genuine and valua- 
ble in his doctrines and works, shall be 
rewarded, and the man shall be saved ; 
that which is not spund and genuine, 
■hall be removed, and he shall sufier 
•lofls.-— Some of the &therBy indeed, ad- 
mitted that this passage taught that all 
Qien would be subjected to the action 
of fire in the great conflagration with 
which the world shall close ; that the 
wicked shall be consumed; and that 
the righteous are to suffer^ some more 
and some less, according to their cha- 
racter. On passages like this, the 
Bomish doctrine of purgatory is based. 
But we may observe, (1.) That this 
passage does not necessarily or natu- 
rally give any such idea. The inter- 
pretation stated abote is tlie natural 

16 Know ye not that ye* are 
the temple of God, and. that the 
Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? 

b 2Cor.6.16. 

interpretation, and one- which the pas- 
sage will not only bear, but which it 
demands. (2.) If tins passage would 
give any countenance to the absurd and 
unscriptural idea that the souls of the 
righteous at the day of judgment are to 
be reunited to their bodies, in order to be 
subjected to the action of intense heat, 
to be brought from the abodes of bliss 
and compelled to undergo the burning 
fires of the last conflagration, still it 
would give no countenance to the still 
more absurd and unscriptural opinion 
that those fires have been and are stiU 
burning ; that all souls are to be sub- 
jected to them ; and that they can be 
removed only by masses offered for the 
dead, and by the prayers of the living. 
The idea of danger and peril is, in- 
deed, in this text ; but the idea of per- 
sonal salvation is retained and con- 

16. Know ye nott 6cc, The apo»> 
tie here carries forward and completes 
the figure which he had commenced in 
regard to Christians. His illustrations 
had been drawn from architecture ; and 
he here proceeds to say that Christians 
are that building (see ver. 9) ; that 
they were the sacred temple which God 
had feared ; and that, Uierefore, they 
should be pure and holy. This is a 
practical application of what he had 
been before saying. ^ Ye are the tem^ 
pie of God, This is to be understood 
of the community of Christians, or of 
the church, as being the ptlace where 
God dwells on the earth. The idea is 
derived, from the mode of speaking 
among the Jews, where tbey are said 
often in the Old Testament to be the 
temple and the habitation of God^ And 
the allusion is probably to the fact that 
God dwelt by a visible symbol — the 
Shechinah — in the temple, and that 
his abode was there. As he dwelt 
jthere among the Jews ; as he had there 
a temple — a dweliiiig place, lo ha 

- 72 



[A. D. 59. 

17 if any man * de£le the 
temple of God, him shall God 

i 6r, ieatroy, 

dwells among Christians. They are 
his temple, the place of his abode. 
His residence is with them ; and he ifs 
in their nudst This figure Ui? apostle 
Paul several times uses. 1 Cor. vii 19. 
2 Cor. vi. 16. Eph. ii. 20—22. ' A 
great many passages have been quoted 
.by Eisner and Wetstein, in which a 
virtuous mind is represented as the 
temple of God, and in which the obli- 
gation ^o preserve that inviolate and 
- unpolluted is enforced. The figure is 
a beautiful one, and very impressive. 
A temple was an edifice erected to the 
service of God. The temple at Jerusa- 
lem was not only meet magnificent, but 
was regarded as most sacred ; (1 .) From 
the fact that it was devoted to his ser- 
vice;, and (2.) From the fact that it 
was the peculiar residence of Jehovah. 
Among the heathen also, temples were 
regarded as sacred. They Were sup- 
posed to be inhabited by the divinity 
to whom they were dedicated. They 
were regarded as inviolable. Those 
who took refuge there were safe. It 
was a crime of the highest degree to 
violate a temple, or to tear a fugitive 
who had sought protection there from the 
altar. So the apostle says of die Chris- 
tian community. They were regarded 
as Ma templer-^oSi dwelt among them 
— and they should regard themselves 
as holy, and as consecrated to his ser- 
vice. And so it is regarded as a species 
of sacrilege to violate the temple, and 
to devote it to other uses. . 1 Cor. vL 
19. See ver. 17. \ And that the 
Spirit of "God, The Holy Spirit, the 
third person of the Trinity. This is 
conclusively proved by .1 Cor. vi. 19, 
where he is called ** the Holy (Jhost." 
1 Dwelleth in you. As God dwelt 
formerly in the tabernacle, ahd aftier- 
wards in the temple, so his Spirit now 
dwells among Christians. — ^This can- 
not mean, (1.) That the Holy Spirit 
18 personally united to Christians, so 
as to form k personal union ; or, (2.) 
That there is to Christiana any corn- 

destroy ; for the temple of Grod 
is holy, whieh temple ye are. . 


I ■■ — — — WMW^ ■■»■■■■ ■■■■■■ ■■ 11 ■■ ^^^—^i^MpfcK 

munication of his nature or personal 
qualities; or, (3.) That there is 'any 
union of esaenee, or nature with them, 
for God is present in aU places, and 
can, as God, be no more present at one 
place than at another. . The only sense 
in which he can he peculiarly present 
in any place is by his injluence, or 
agency, 'And the idea is one whioh 
denotes agency, influence, fiivouT, 
peculiar regard ; and in tiiat sense 
only can he be present with his church* 
The expression must mean, (1.) That 
the church is the seat of his operat^on^ 
the field or abode on which he acts on 
earth; (2.) That his influences are 
there, producing the appropriate effects 
of his agency, love, joy, peace, lon^ 
suffering, &c. (Gal. v. 22, 23) ; (3.) 
That he produces there consolations, 
that he sustains and guides his people ; 
(4.) That they are regarded as dedi- 
cated or consecrated to him ; (5.) That 
they are especially dear to him — that 
he loves them, and thus makes his 
abode with them. See Note, John 
xiv. 23. 

17. If any man defilCf &c Or, 
destroyt corrupt (if^ti^). The Greek 
word is the same in both parts of the 
sentence. ^If any man destroy the 
temple of God, God shall destroy him.* 
This is presented in the form of an 
adage or proverb. And the truth here 
stated is based on th^ fiict that the 
temple of God was inviolable. That 
temple was holy ; and if any man 
subsequently destroyed it, it might ba 
presumed that Grod would destroy hiou 
The figurative sense is, * If any man 
by his doctrines or precepts shidl 
pursue such a course as tends to de- 
stroy the church, God shall severely 
punish him.^ ^ Far the temple ojf^ 
God is holy. The temple of Gt>d is to 
be regarded as sacred and inviolable. 
This was unquestionably the common 
opinion among the Jews respecting the 
temple at Jerusalem ; and it was the 
common doctrine of the Gentiles re- 

A« D« 59.] 



18 Let no man dteeive him- 
self. * If any man among you 

Bpeding their temples. Sacred places 
were regarded as inTiolable; ana this 
general troth Paul applies to the Chiis- 
tktt chnziBh ^in geBeral.^Locke sap- 
pooes that Paul had particukir zefeience 
Oiera to the 6ise teachers in Corinth. 
But the expression, '^ if any man,'^ is 
equally f^iieii^e to all other fiilse 
teadiera as to him. 5 WJdeh temple 
ye are, xThis proves that though Paul 
regarded them as lanantaUy eonupt in 
some respects, he still regasded them as 
a trufl church— «s a part of the hofy 
tem|de of Crod» 

18. Let no man deeeioe Jdmaeif, 
The apostle here proceeds to make a 
practiGal applioalion of the truths 
which he had stated, and to urge on 
them humility, and to endeavour to i»>' 
press the br^ and contontiotts into 
which they had fidleo. \M no man 
be pu£fed up with a vain conceit of his 
own wisdom, for this had been the real 
cause of all <2ie evils which they had 
experienced. Chrotius renders this, 
"See that you do not attribute too 
much to your wisdom and learning, 
by resting on it, and thus deceive your 
own selves." <' All human phflosophy," 
says Ghrotius, " that is repugnant to the 
gospel is but vain deoeit."-*Probably 
there were many among them who 
tvould deiqpise this admonition . as 
coming from Paul, but he exhorts them 
t^ take care that th^ did not deceive 
themselves. We are taught here, (1.) 
The danger of self-deception — a danger 
that besets all on the subject of rcdigion. 
(S.) The fact that false philosophy is 
the. most fruitful source of sel£decep- 
tioii in the business of religion. So it 
was among the Corinthians ; and so it 
has been in all ages since, t ff any 
fifon among you* Any teacher, whid^ 
ever qiay be his rank or his confidence 
in his own abilities; or any private 
nieraber of the churc^. 5 Seemetk to 
te tDtae. Seems to himself; or' is 
thought to be^ has the credit, or reputor* 


seemeth to he wkie in thia woTld» 
let him become a leol, that he 

may be wise. 

Ill II. Ill I It I I I .1 

tkm of being wise* Hie watA Hem$ 
(ioxn) in^Ues this idea— if any one 
seems, or is supposed to be a man of 
wisdom ; if this is his reputation ; and 
if he seeks that this should be his t^ 
putetioB among men. See instances 
of tills eonstructimi in Bloorafield. 
Y In tkif wofUL In this c^e, or toorUt 
(ir Tw fluOi 'riur'm). There is consideiwi 
able variety ia the interpretallon of this 
passage among critics. It may be 
taken either with the preceding or the 
ibUowing words. Origen, Cyprian, 
Beai, Gfotios, Hammond, and Locke, 
adf^t the latter method, and under* 
stand it thus, ''If any mwti among' 
you thinks himself to be wise, let him 
not hesitate to be a Itaiol in tiie opinioii' 
of Hm age in oder Hkit he may be 
truly wise."-*B<it the interpretetion 
conveyed in omr transktion, is prob*** 
biy tfeie eonect one. *If any man has 
the reputation of wisdom among the 
men of this generation, and prides 
himself on it,' id If he is esteemed, 
wise in the sense in which the men ef 
this world are, as a pMlosopher, a matt 
of scfence, leaniing, Sec f Let him 
become nfooL {!.) Let him be will* 
ing to be reganisd as a feol» (3.) Z^t 
him sincerely erabiace this gospe^ 
which will inevitably expose him to the 
charge of being a fooL (3.) Let all 
his earthly wisdom be esteemed in hie 
own eyes as valneiess and as folly in 
the great mattsis of salvation^ ^ THuxt - 
he may he wiae. That ha may have 
tfue wVKiom-«4hat which is of God.-^ 
It is implied here, (1.) That the wi»* 
dem of this world vriU not mute a mail 
truly wise, (d.) That a reputation 
for wisdom may contribute nothing t» 
a man's true wisdom, b^ may stand ' 
in the way of it (3.) That for such a 
man to embmce the grsspel it is neees- 
saiy that he should be vrilling to cast 
away dependence on his own wisdom, 
and come witii the temper of a child to 
theaim0Bi<. (4^) That to do tins wiS 





10 For the wisdom of this 
world is foolishness with God : 
for it is written, * He taketh the 
wise in their own crafdness. 

20 And again, ^ The Lord 

aJob5.I3. bV9.9i.n. 

OEpofle him to the charge of folly, and 
the derieion of those who are wise in 
their own conceit. (5.) That true 
wisdom is found only in that scaenoe 
which teaches men to live unto God, 
qpd to be prepared for death and for 
heaven — and. that saeooe is found 
only in the gospeL 

19. For the tmdim ef Ud» tv&rld. 
That which is esteemed to be wisdom 
bj the men of this world on Ihe subject 
of religion. It does not inean that true 
wisdom is foolishness with him. It does 
not mean that sdenoe, and prudence, 
mni law — that the knowledge of his 
works that astimionqr, and medicine, 
nd chymistiy, are refguded by him as 
fdly, and as unworthy the attention 
of men. God is the firiend of troth on 
all sul^ects; and he nquires us to be- 
oome acquainted with his works, and 
igtnmends those who search them. Ps. 
xvii. 4; ad. 2. But the apostle refers 
here to that which was esteemed to be 
wisdom among the ancients, and in 
which they so much prided thenuielTes, 
th«nr yain, setfconfident, and folse opi- 
nions on the sntjeet of religion; and 
especially those opinions when they 
were oppoeed to the simple but sublime 
truths of revelatioB. See Note, ch. L 
90, 81. 1 h /bok^nesB toiih God. 
Is esteemed by him to be foUjr* Note, 
du L 20—24. 5 For it it wrUterijAc. 
Xobv.13. The word rendered « taketh" 
liere denotes to clench with the fist, 
giipe^ gnsp. And die sense is, (t.) 
however ora%, or eunning, or skilfol 
they may be; however sdif<»Dfident, 
jret that thegf cannot deceive or impose 
upon God. He can thwart their phms, 
orarthiow their schemes, defeat their 
epunsels, and foil them in their enter- 
prises, lob vc 12. (2.) He does it by 
thflir own cunning or craftiness. He 
dbws them to involve themselveB in 

knoweth the thoughts of the 
wise, that they are vain. 

21 Therefore let ^ no man 
glory in men : for all things are 
yours J 

e Jer.9iZ3^ 

difficulties or to entangle each other. 
He makes use of even their own crafi 
and cunning to defeat their counsels. 
He allows tibie plans of one wise man 
to come in conflict vntk those of an- 
other, and thus to destroy one Miother. 
Honesty in religion, as in every thing 
else, is the best policy ; and a man who 
pursues a course of conscientious iiH 
tegrity may expect the protection of 
God. But he who attempts to cany 
his purposes by craft and intrigue— 
who depends on skill and cunning 
instead of truth and hooesty, will ofteq. 
find that he is the prey of lus own 
cunning and duplicity. 

20. Jndagam. Ps.zciv. 11. t Tike 
Lordknowetb. God searches the heart 
The particular thing whidr it is here 
said that be knows, is, that the tboughte 
of man are vain. They have this qua- 
lity ; and this is that which the psalm- 
ist hen says thai God sees. Thib a€> 
firmation is net one respecting the om- 
niieienee of God, but with respect to 
what QoA sees of the nature of the 
thoughte of the vrise. % The thmsghta 
of the fffise. Their plans, purposes, 
designs. % That they are vain. That 
they lack real wisdom ; they are fool- 
iah ; they shall not be accomplished as 
they expect; or be seen to have that 
wisdom which they now sui^kmw they 

21. Therefore^ dto. Paul here pto- 
ceeds to apphjr the principles which he 
had steted above. Since all were mi- 
nisters or servants of God ; since God 
was the source of all good influences; 
since, whatever might be the preten* 
sions to wisdom among men, it was aH 
foolishness in the sight of God, the hi- 
ference was dear, dhat no man should 
gloiy in man. They vrara all alike 
poor, frail, ignorant, erring, dependent 
beingSi And hence, also, as al? wisdom 

AL IX 69*.] 



22 Whether Paul, or ApoQbs, 

came from God, and act Christians par- 
took aUke of the benefits of the instmc- 
tioQ of the most eminent apostles, they 
onght to regard this as belonging to 
them in common, and not to form pais- 
ties mAk these names at the head; 
% Let no man ghry in men* See ch. 
Ltl9. Comp» Jer. zx. 23, 24. it was 
conmion ammig the Jews to range 
themselves under difieient leaders — as 
HiUel and Shammai ; and for the Greeks, 
alsc^ to boast themselves to be the fol- 
lowers of Pythagoras, Zeno^ Plato, &c./ 
The same thing began to be manifest 
in th& Christian church ; and Paul here 
rebukes and oppose» it t ^^ oil 
things ate ^urs. This is a rea»on 
why they should not mnge themselves 
}SL parties or fiaustions under. different 
leaders. Paul specifies what he means 
by " all thii|gs>" in the following verses. 
The sense is, that since tiiey had an 
faiterest in all that could go to promote 
their weDGeure; as they were common 
partakers of the benefits of the talents 
and labours' of the apostlea ; and a» 
they belonged ta Christ, and all to^ 
God, it was improper to be splib up 
into fiictions, tu if they derived any 
peculiar benefit from one set of men,> 
or one set of objects. In Paul, in 
ApoUos, in life, death, &c they had a 
common interest, and no one should 
boast that he had any special proprietor^ 
diip in any of these things. 

^, Whether PavU^ar ApoUos, The 
sense of this is clear. Whatever, ad- 
vantages result from the piety, self- 
denials, and labours of ^ul, Apollos, 
or any other preacher of the goq^l, 
are yowra — ^you have the benefit of 
ihem. One is as much entitled to the 
benefit as another ; and all partake alike 
in the results of their ministration. 
You should therefore neither range 
youiselves into parties with their names 
given to the parties, nor suppose that 
one has any peeuUar interest in Paul, 
or another in Apollos.* Their labours 
befonged to the church in genenL 
They had:n0 partialities^-no rivalship^ 
no cuaaire to make parties^ They were 

or Cephas, or the world, or life, 

united, and desirous of promoting the 
welfiire of the whole ^mroh of God. 
The doctrine is, that ministers belcmg 
to the church, and riioold devote them- 
selves to ita welfiire; and that the 
church en j<^s, in common, the benellta 
of the learning, seal, j^ety, elequenoe, 
talents, ezan^pla of the mmistera of 
God. And it may be observed, that it 
is no- small privilege thus to be peF- 
mitted to^regiad all the labours of the 
most eminent swvanta of God as da* ' 
idgned for our welfore; and for the 
humblest saint to foel that the labours 
of aposfetes, the sdfdenials and sufibr- 
ings, the pains and dying . agonies 
of martyrs, have been for kie advao* ' 
tage* 1 Or Cephas, Or Peter. Joha 
i. 43. % Or the world. This weid is 
doubtless used, in its ccmifflon signi6> 
cation, to denote the things vrhich God ' 
has 'made; the universe, the things 
which pertain to this life. And the 
meaning of the apostle probaUy is, that 
ail thkigs portdrang to- th» world ' 
which <^id has made— tti the events 
which are o<3carriiig in hie providence 
were so far theirs, that they would 
•t^ntribute to their admntage «id thefar 
enjoyment. This general idisa may be 
thus expressed: (1.) The world wa» ■ 
made by God their common Father, 
and they have to^interest in it as his 
children, regarding it as^ te work of hie 
hand, and seeing him present in all hie 
works. Nothing-<xmtributes so much 
to the true er^oyment of the world— 4o 
comfort ia surveying the heavens, the 
earth, the ocean, balis, vales, plants^ - 
flowers, streams, iapartaking of the gide 
of Providence, as this feeling, that all 
are the works of the Christian's Father, 
and that they may all partake of these 
favours i£B his children. (2.) The 
frame of the universe is sustained and 
upheld for their sake. The universe ia 
kept by God ; and os^ design of God 
in keeping it is to protect, preserve, 
and redeem his church and peopteu 
To this end he defends it by (u^ and - 
night ; he or&rs all things ; he kee^ 
it finom the stonn and tempest; ^m 



[A. D. 59 

or death* or things present, or 
things to come ; all are yours ; 

flood and fire; and from annihilation. 
The sun, and moon, and 0tai»-^the 
tim«a and seaaon^, ans all thus ordered/ 
that \u» chuxch may be gaarded, and 
brought to heaven. (3.) The course 
<^ proyidential events are ordered for 
their wel&re also^ Rom. viiL 28. The 
revolutions ci kingdoms— the vaxious 
persecutions and trials, even the lage 
and fury of wicked men, are aU over- 
ruled, to the advancement of the cause 
«f troth, and the wel&re of the charch. 
(4.) Christians have the promise oi aa 
much- of this world as shall be needful 
for them ; and in this sense ** the world" 
is theirs* See Matt. vi. 33. Mark x. 
S9, 30. 1 Tim. iv. 8, "Godliness is 
profitable for all- things, having promise 
of the life that now is, and of diat 
which is to come." And such was the 
result of the long experience and obser- 
vation of David. Ps. xxzvii. 25, " I 
have been young, and now am old; 
yet have I not seen tha righteous for- 
saken, nor his seed begging bread." 
See Isa. xzxiii. 16. \ Or Ufe, Life 
is theirs, because (1.) They en^'oy life. 
It id real life to them, and not a vain 
show. They live for a real object, and 
not for vanity* Others live for parade 
and ambition— Christians live for the 
great purposes of life ; and life to them 
has reality, as being a state preparar 
tory to another and a higher world. 
Their life is not an endl^ circle of 
unmeaning ceremonies— of felse and 
hollow pretensions to firiendship— of a 
vain pursuit of happiness, which is 
never found, but is fiaased in a manner 
that is rational, and sober, and that 
truly deserves to be called Ufe, (2.) The 
various events and occurrences of life 
shall all tend to promote their welfare, 
and advance their salvation. % Death* 
They have an itUerestt a pr^ptrty even 
in death, usually regarded as a calamity 
and a curse. But it is theirs, (1.) Be- 
cause they shall have peace and. sup- 
port in the dying hour. (2.) Because 
tt has no terrors for them. It diall 

23 And ye* are Christ's; and 

Christ 18 God's. 

take away nothing which they are not 
willing to resign. (3.) Because it is 
the avenue which leads to their rest ; 
and it is thein just in the same sense 
in whidi we say that ** this is ow Km£* 
when we have been long absent, and 
are inquiring the way to our home^ 
(4») Because they shall triumph over 
it It is subdued by their Captain, and 
the grave has been subjected to a tii- 
umph by his rising from its chills and 
darkiMss. (6.y Because death is Uie 
means«-^he occanon of introducing 
them to theb rest It is the advaa^ 
tageaus cireunutance in their history, 
by which they are removed fitim a 
world of ills, and translated to si werld 
of glory. It is to them a source of in^ 
expressible advaniagef as it translates 
them to a world of light and eternal 
felicity; and it may truly be ealled 
thein, Y Or things present, or things 
to come. Events which are now hap»< 
pening, and all that can possibly ocdat 
to us. Note, Bom. vtii. 38. All the 
calamities, trials, persecutions— efl the 
prosperity, advantages, privileges of tiie 
present time, and all that shall yet take 
place, shall tend to promote our weU 
fiure, and advance the interests of our 
souls, and promote our salvation. ^ AU 
are yours. AU shall tend to promote 
your comfort and salvation. 

23. And ye are Chrisfs* Tou be- 
kmg to him ; and should not,, therefore, 
feel that you are devoted to any earthly 
leader, whether Paul, Apc^os, or Petsr, 
As you belong to Chri^ b^ redeap* 
tion, and liy s^mn dedication tQ hia 
service, so you should feel that you are. 
his akmew You are his pn^rty — his 
pe(^le— his friends. You i^outd re* 
gard yourselves as such, and feel that 
you all belong to the same family, and 
shoukL not, tiberefore, be split up into 
contending fections and flarties. Y Cbrid 
is ^ro^s. Chrbt is the mediator he* 
tween God and man. He came to ^ 
the wiU of iOod. He was and is still 
devoted to ^e serfke of his Father. 

A.D. 59.x 



God has a proprietonbiip.iii afi fhat he 
does, since Chrut IWed, and acted, and 
leignB to promote the gloxy of his Far 
ther. The aigument here teems to be 
this. < You belong to Christ ; and he 
to God. YoQ are bound, therefore, not 
to demte yoursehree to anum, whoever 
he may be, but to Christ, and to -the 
service of that one true God, in whose 
seirvice even Christ was employed. 
And as Christ sought to psomote the 
glory of his Fathei, so should yoa in 
all things.' This implies no inferiority 
of nature of Christ to God. It means 
only that he was employed in the aer- 
Tice of his. Father, and sought his 
glory — a doctrine everywhere toug^ 
in &e New Testament But this ^es 
not ilnply that he was inferior in his 
nature. A son may be employed in 
the service of hb fiiUier, and may seek 
to advance his fiither's interests. But 
this does not prove that the son is in- 
ferior in nature to his &ther. It proves 
only that he is inferior in some re- 
spects — in office. So the Son of God 
consented to take an inferior o&ce or 
rank ; to become a mediator, to assume 
the form of a servant, and to be a man 
of sorrows ; hot this proves nothing in 
regard to his original, rank or dignity. 
That is to be learned from the numerous 
passages which aflkm that in nature he 
wasequalwithGiod. See Note, John i.1. 
1st Christians when first converted 
may be well compared to infants, ver. 1. 
They are in a new worlds They Just 
open their eyes on truth. They see 
new objects ; and have new objects of 
attachment They are feeble, weak, 
helpless. And though they often have 
hig^ joy, and even great self-oonfidenci), 
yet they are in themselves ignorant and 
weak, and in need of c6nstant teach- 
ing. Christians should not only pos- 
■eas the spirit but they should feel that 
ffaey are kke children. They are like 
Hieom not only in their temper, but in 
thdr ignorance, and weakness, and 

Sd. The instructions which are im- 
parted to Christians should be adapted 
to dwir capacity, ver. 2. Skill and 


care should be ffiEnrciaed to adapt that 
instruction to the wants of tender con- 
scieneesi and 4» those who are feeble 
in the fiiith. It wo^ld be no more ab- 
surd to furnish strong food to the new 
bom babe than it is to present some of 
the higher doctrines of religion to the 
tender miiids of converts. The. el^ 
tnents of knowledge must be first learn- 
ed v the tenderest and most delicate 
food must first nourish the body.-^And 
perhapa in nothing is there more fire- 
quent error than in presenting the 
higher, and more-difficult doctrines of 
Christianity to young converts, and 
6eeatMe'they have a difficulty in regard 
to theip, or because they even reject 
them, ^nronouncing them destitute of 
piety. Is the in&nt destitute of life 
because it cannot digest the solid fi>od 
which nourishes the man of fifty years? 
Paul adapted kia instructions to the der 
licacy and feebleness of infiintile piety } 
and those who are like Paul will feed 
with great care the lambs of the flock* 
All yoiHig converts should be -placed 
under a course of instruction adapted 
to their condition, and should secure the 
careiful attention of the pastors .of the 

3d. Strife and contention in the 
chureh is proof thet men are und» 
the influence of carnal feelings. , No 
matter what is the came of the con« 
tention> tho very fact of the existence 
of such strife is a proof of the exists 
enoe of such feetings somewhere, vec. 
3, 4. On what side soever the cgriginal 
fault of the contention may be,' yet its 
existence in the church is always proof 
that some — if not all-^f those who 
are engaged in it are under the influ- 
ence of carnal feelings. Christ's king- 
dom is designed to be a kingdom ^ 
peace and love ; and diviskms and oon^ 
tentions are always attended with evils^ 
and with injury to the spirit of ^rue r^^ 

4(h. We have here a rebnke to thai 
spirit which has produced the existence 
of sects and parties, ver. 4. The 
practice of naming sects after certain 
men, we see, began early, and was af 
eady rebuked i^ apostolic authority. 


" ■■»■-•; ■ 



[A. D. 59. 

WoaM not the mum apofltolie autlio* 
rity rebuke ihe spirit which now calls 
one division of t|ie church after the 
name of Cabin, another after the name 
of Lather, an'odier after the name of 
Armfhius 1 SQiould not,' and will not all 
these divisions yet be merged in the high 
and holy name of Christian 1 Our fi^ 
▼iour' evidently supposed it possible 
that his church should be one (John 
xvii. 21 — 23); and Paul certainly 
supposed that the church at Corinti^ 
mig^t be so united. So the early 
churches were ; and is it toe much to 
hope that some way may yet be dis- 
covered which shall break down tiie 
divisions into sects, and unt/e^Chiistians 
both in feeling and in name in spread- 
ing the gospel of the Redeemer every* 
where ? Does not every Christian sin- 
cerely desire it 1 And m«^ there not 
yet await the churdi such a union as 
shall concentrate tSi its energies in 
saving the world ? How much effort, 
Ifeow much talent, how much wealth 
and learning are now wasted in con- 
tending with other denominations of 
the great Christian ftunily ! How 
m\|idi would this wasted — and worse 
than wasted wealth, and learning, and 
talent, and zeal do in difibsing the gos- 
pel around the world ! Whose heart is 
not sickened at these contentions and 
strifes ; and whose son! will not breathe 
forth a pure desire to Heaven that the 
time may soon come when all these 
contentions shaU die away, and when 
the vdce of strife shall be hushed; and 
when the united host of Ood's elect 
•hall go forth to subdue the world to 
the gospel of the Saviour 1 

6th. The proper honour tohoi^ be 
paid to the mmisters of the gospel, 
ver. 6 — 7. Th^ should not be put 
in the place of God ; nor should their 
services, however important, ptevent 
the supreme recognition of God in the 
eonversion of souls. God is to be all 
and in all. — ^It is proper that the minis- 
ters of religion shoidd be treated with 
respect (1 Thess. ▼. 12, 13) ; and mi- 
nisters have a righi to expect and to 
desire the afiectionate regards of those 
who are bledsed ,bj H^ instrumen- 

talily. But Pan ! cm inepl and suo- 
cessfol as he was-— wouki do nothing 
that would diminish or obscnre the sm* 
gleness of view vrith which the agen^ 
c^ God shoidd be regarded in the woik 
of salvation. He regarded himself as 
nothing compared with God { and his 
highest desire was that God in Bit 
thhdgs might be honoured. 

6th. God is die sonree of all good 
influence, and of all that is holy in 
the diur^ He only, gives tiie ii>». 
crease. Whatever of humility, iatth, 
love, joy, peace, or purity we may have^ 
is all to be traced to hun. No matter 
who plants, or who waters, Gocf gives life 
to the seed ; God rears the stalk ; God 
expands the leaf; God opens the flower 
and gives it its fragrance; and Grod lormsy 
preserves, and ripens the fruit. So in 
rdigion^ N& matter who the minister 
may be ; no matter how &ithlul, learn* 
ed, pbus, or devoted, yet if any success 
attends bis labours^ it is otf to be traced 
to God. This truUi is never to be fix^ 
gotten ; nor should any talents, or zeal, 
however great, ever be allowed to dam or 
obscure its lustre in the minds of thoss 
who are convertad» 

7th. Ministere are on a leveL ver.8, 9» 
Whatever may be their qualificarions 
or their success, yet they can daim no 
{HPe-eminenoe over one another. They 
are fellow labourers— engaged in ens 
woik, accomplishing the same object, 
though they may be in £flereat parts 
of ^ same field. The man wh» 
plants is as necessary as be &at waters; 
and both are infeiior to God, and neither 
could do any thing wfthout him. 

8th. Christians should regard theoh' 
selves as a holy people, ver. 9. Tknj 
are ih» cultivation of God. All that 
they have is item hint. His own 
agency has been eapbycd m tbeir 
conversion ; his own ^phrit opeiates to 
sanctify and save them. Whatever 
they have is to be traced to God ; and 
they should remember that thsy are, 
therefera, consecrated to him. 

9th. No other foundation can be laid 
in the chureh except that of Christ, 
ver. 10, 11. Unless a churdi b founded 
on the true doctrine icM p aOing - IteMes* 

A.I>. 69.] 



flMh, it is a felse chnrdi, snd shoald 
not be recogniMd as belonguig to him. 
There can be no other foondatton, 
^ther for an individnal flinner, <» fiw a 
chorch. How important then to in« 
quire whether we are building our 
hopes fi>r elernity-on this tried founda- 
tion ! How faithfully should we ex- 
amine this subject lest our hopes should 
aU be swept away in' the stonns of di- 
yme wrath ! Matt vU. 27, 28. How 
deep and awful will be the disappoint* 
ment of those who suppose they have 
been.btdldiiiig on the tme foundation, 
and who find in the g?eat day of judg- 
ment that all has been delusion ! 

l(Mh. We are to be tried at the diiy of 
judgment, ver. 13, 14. Ail are to bo ar- 
raigned, not only in regard to the foun- 
dation of our hopes for eternal life, 
but in regard to the superstructure,— 
the nature of our opinions and prac- 
tices *in religion. Every thing diall 
come into judgment. 

11th. The trial will be such as to 
test our character. — All the trials 
through which we are to pass are de- 
signed to do -this. Affiction, tempta^ 
tkaa, sickness, death, are all intended 
to produce this resi^ and all have a 
tendency to this end. But, pre-emi- 
nently is this the case with regaid to 
the tarial at the great day of judgment 
Amidst the light of the burning world, 
and the terrors of the judgment; under 
the blazing throne, and the eye of God, 
evevy man's chlaracter shall be seen, 
and a just judgment ^all be pro- 

12th. The trial shall remove all Aat 
is impure in Christians, ver. 14» Th^ 
•hall then see the' truth; and in that 
WOTld of truth, all that was erroneous 
in their opinions shall be corroded. 
They shall be in a world where fiinati- 
cism. cannot be mislakmi for^ love 
of truth, and where enthunasm can- 
not be substituted for zeal. AU tr«e 
and real piety shall there abide; all 
which is nilse and enFoneons i^aU be 

iSth. What a change vrill then take 
place in regard to ChristianSL AU pro- 
btUy cherish some opinioas which ar9 

unq^Nuid; ril indalge in some diii^ 
now suppbsed to be piety, whiab wilt 
not then besar the test The gnait 
change wiH then take place horn ia»* 
{Hulty to pniity ; firoai HBpeifoeliov^to 
pirfoction. The -very jpaBsago ftsni' 
this world to heaven wfll secure thitfJ 
change; and what a vast revatnlie^ 
will it bo thus to be ushered iajkK a 
worid where all shall be pnve in aeiAi^ 
ment ; ait perfect in love. 

14th. Many GfaristiaBS'may be nxieb 
disappointed in that day. Many «dMi> 
are now lealoiw for doetrinu^ and vriio 
pursue with vindidive spint otiiere who 
difEer from them, shall then **miSkt 
less,*' and find that i^perouuUd hid 
more real love of truth than the fono* 
eutor. Many who are now filled with 
zeal, and who deoo«nce the compam* 
tivety leaden «nd tardy pace of others ; 
many whose bosoms glow with sifta* 
roos feeHi^, and bum, as they snp*> 
pose, witii a sen^'s love, shall find 
that aU this was not piety*— that anknal 
feeling was mistaken for the kyve ef 
God ; and that a zeal for sect, or for tiio 
triumph of a party, was mistaken fern 
love to the Saviour; and that dia 
kindlings of an aident imaglnatieii 
had been ofien substituted for the ele- 
vated emotrotts of pure and disjnti^. 
rested love. 

I6ttu Chri6tiaa8,teadieni^ and people 
should examine thems^es^ and see 
what is the buHding which they aea. 
rearrag on the true foundation. Even 
where the foundation of a bmlding iS' 
laid broad and de^, it is of much in^ 
portance whether a stately and raagaiN 
ficent pahMse shall be reared on it, suited 
to the nature oi the foundation, or 
whether a mucUwalled and a thatched 
cottage shall be all. Between the foun- 
dation and the edifice in the one casa 
there is the beauty of proportion and 
fitness; in the other there is incon-^ 
g^uity and unfitness. Who would 
Xvy such a deep and broad foundalioit 
as the basis on which to rear the hot 
of the savage or the mud oottiige of 
the Hhidoo ? Thus m reltgien. Tfao 
foundation to aU who truly believe m 
the Lord Jesos la broad, deep» fi^^ 



[A. D. 09. 

magnificent Bnt the Ai]pe(ilnictiiie-^ 
tilie piety, the advancemest in know- 
ledge, the life,. is often like the cottage 
that is reared on the fiim banio that 
evfliy wind shaken and that the fire 
would soon consume. Aa the bona of 
the Christian hope is finn, so should 
tbe superstructure be lairge, magnificent 
and giand. 

16th. Christians are to regard them- 
a^lvea as holy and pure. ver. 10, 17. 
They are the temple of the Lord---the 
dwelling place of the Spirit A temple 
is sacred and inTi<4able. So should 
Christians regard themselves. They 
aie dedicated to God. He dwells 
among them. And they should deem 
themselves holy and pure ; and should 
preserve their minds £^Qm impure 
thoughts, from unholy purposes^ from 
selfish and sensual desires. They 
should be in idl respects sudi as will 
be the fit abode for the Holy Spirit ef 
God. How pore should men be in 
whom the Holy Sfttrit dwells! How 
single should be their aims ! How con- 
stant their selPdenials! How single 
their desire to devote all to hie service, 
an^ to live always to his glory ! How 
heavenly should they be in their feel- 
ings; and how riiould pride, sensuality, 
vanity, ambition, covetousness, and the 
love of gayety, be banished firom their 
bosoms f Assuredly in God*s world 
there should be one place where he 
will delight to dwell'^-one pliaoe that 
shall remind of heaven, and- that place 
should be the church which has been 
purchased with the purest blood of the 

17th. We see, what is necessary if a 
man would become a Christtap. ver. & 
He must be willing to be esteemed a 
fool; to bedespised; to have his name cast 
out 88 evy ; and to be regarded as even 
under delusion and deception. What- 
ever may be his rank, or bis reputation 
for wisdom, and. talent, and learning, 
he must be willing to be regaided as a 
fool by his former associates and com- 
panions ; to cast off al} reliance on his 
own wisdom ; and to be associated 
with the poor, the persecuted^ and the 
despised foUowen of JesQ«.— Chris- 

tianity knowe no dislinelloii* of wealth, 
talent, learning. It points out no royal 
road to heaven. It describes but one 
way ; and whatever contempt an effort 
to bo saved may involve us in, it le* 
quins us to sulmiit to that, and even 
to rejoioe thai our names are cast out 
as evik- 

18th. This is a point on which men 
should be espeeially careful that they 
are not deceived, ver. 19. Thare is 
nothing on which they are more likely 
to be than this. It is not an easy.thh^ 
for a proud man to humble himself; it 
is not easy lor men who boast of theit 
wisdom to be wflling that their names 
should be oast out as eviL And there 
is great danger of a man's flattering* 
himself that he is willing to be a 
Christian, who would not be willing to 
be esteemed a fool by the great and the 
gay men of this world. He still in*, 
tenda to be a Christian and be saved;, 
and yet to keep uphis reputation for 
wisdom and prudence. Hence every 
thing in religion which is not consistent 
with such a reputation for prudence 
and wisdom he rejects. Hence he 
takes sides with the world. As far as 
the world will admit that a man ought 
to attend to reUgion he will go. Where 
the world would pronounce any thing 
to be foolish, fanatical, or enthusiastic, 
he pauses. And his reUgion is not 
shaped h^ the New Testament, but by 
the opinions of the world.-^ach a 
man should be cautious that he is not 
deceived. All Ma hopes of heaven are 
probably built on the sand. 

19. We should not overvalue the 
wisdom of this worid. ver. 18, 19. It 
is folly in the sight of God* And we, 
therefore, should not over-estimate it, 
or desire it,, or be influenced by it. 
True wisdom on any subject we should 
not despise ; but we should especially 
value that which is connected with sal- 

20th. This admonition is of especial 
applicability to ministers of the gospel. 
They are in special danger on the sub- 
ject ; and it has been by their yielding 
themselves so much to the power of 
speculative philosophy, that parties 






£T & man so account of 
us, as of the ministers 

hkYe been formed in the diiirch, taoA 
that the gospel has been so much oeiw 

Slst These ooosidentioins riMold 
fead na to live above Gonteiitioii, and 
the fi^ndDesa of party. Seet and party 
in the ehuzch are not formed by the 
love of the pure and simple gospel, but 
by the love at some philosophical opi- 
nicm, or by an- admiration of the wie- 
dom, talMDts, learning, eloquence, or 
aocoess of some Christian teacher. 
Against this the apostle vvoald guard 
na ; and the considerationfl presented 
in this chapter should elevate us above 
an the causes of contention and the 
krre of sect, and teach ua to love e« 
bvothers all who love our Lord Je^us 

SSd. Christians have an interast in 
jdl things that can go to promoto their 
hmipiness. Life and death, things pre- 
sent and things to come— ^1 shafl tend 
to advance iheir happineas, and pro- 
mote their salvation, ver. 31-^93. 

33d. Christians have nothing to foar 
in death. Death is theirs, and shall be 
a Ueanng to them. Its yting is tak^ 
Mvay; and it shall hitroduoe' them to 
heaven. What have, they to feart 
Why should they be alarmedt Why 
afiaid to die 1 Why unwilling to d»> 
part and to be with Christ 1 

34th. Christians should regard them- 
selves as devoted to the 8aviour. They 
are his, and he has the highest con- 
ceivable claim on theb time, their ta^ 
lents, their influence, and iSbeii wealth. 
To him, thereforo, let ua be devoted, 
and to him let ua consecrate all that 
we have. 


This chapter Is a continuation of tiie 
subject discussed in those wMch go 
before, and of the argument which 
doses the last chapter. The proper 
divisioQ would have beei^ at ver. 6. The 
design of tiie first six verses is to show 
die raol estimate in which tha aposUea 

•of Christ, and stewards of the 
mysteries of God. 


ought to be hdd as the ministers of to* 
ligion. The remainder of the chapter 
(ver. ?•— 31 ) is tseoupied in aetling fordt 
further tiie daima of the apostles to' 
their les p ett in eontvadistinetion from 
the folse teachers, and in reproving the 
spirit of v^ boasthig and confidence 
among the Corinthians. Paul (ver. 7) 
reproves their boasting by sssaring 
them that they had no ground for it, 
since all that they possessed had been 
given to tbem by God. In ver. 8, ha 
reproves the same spirit with cutting 
irony, as if they ckdmed to be em^ 
nent^ wise^— 49ti]| further to repvowi 
them, he aSudes to hia awn seMennla 
and suilbrings, as contrasted widi thc^ 
ease, and si^y, and enjoyment v«r. 9 
—14. He then shows that his laboura 
and selMenials in their behalf, laid the 
foundation fin* his speaking to th^m 
with au6iovity as a fiiiifiier. ver. 16, 10. 
And to show ^em that he claimed that 
autiierity over them as the foimder of 
tlv^ church, and that he vras not 
alndd to discharge hts duty tovfuds 
them, ha hiforma Aem that he hsd 
sent Timothy to kxA into their affidra 
(ver. 17), and Aat himself wanid soon 
fottaw; and assnrea then that ha hfA 
power to' come to them with the sev^ 
rity of Christian discipliBe, and that it 
depefided on iMr eondoct whether IttI' 
should eome with a rod, or witti ths 
spirit <tf Bieekness and love. ver. 31. 
• 1. Let k man. Let all ; let this ber 
the estimate formed of us by each one 
(^you. Y jSle^ account of U9, 8o think 
of us, the apostles, t -^ i^ mini&Urs 
cfChruit. As the servants of ChrisC 
Let them form a true estimate of us 
and our offio»-^«ot as the head of a 
Action ; not as designing to form par- 
ties, but as unitedly and entirely the 
servante of Christ See ch. &. 0w 
1 And ttewards. Stewards were those 
who prended over the afiairs of ;a 
fiiinriYy, and tnade provision for it, AgI 
See Note, Luke rvt 1, It was aft 



[A. D. 69: 

3 Moreover, it 18' required in 

stewards, * that a man be found 

a Luke 12.42. TiU.7. lFet.4.10. 

office of mach responsibility ; and the 
apostle by using the tenn here seems 
to have des||^nea to eleyate those whom 
he seemed to have depreciated in eh. iiL 
6. 1 Of the mygteriea of Gi)d. Of 
the gospel. Note, ch. ii. 7. The 
office of steward was to provide those 
things which were necessary Ibp the 
use of a fanuiy. And so the office of 
a minister of &e goqpel, and a steward 
of its mysteries, is to dispense such in- 
atmctioDs, guidance, counsd, jcc, as 
may be Te4|iHBite to build up the 
church of Christ ;: to make Imown 
those subtime truths; which aie con- 
tained in the gospel, but which had 
not been made, known before the reve- 
lation of Jesus Christ, and which are, 
therefore, called mysteries. It is im- 
plied in this verse, {I,) That the office 
of a minister is one that is subordinate 
to Christ — they, are his. servants. (2.) 
That those in the office should not at- 
tempt to be the head of sect or party 
ni the church. (3.) That the <^oe is 
honourable as that of a fiteward is; 
and, (4.) That Christians should en- 
deavour to form and dierish jiut ideas 
of ministers; to give them their true 
honour; but not to overrate their im- 

2. Moreover, 6m, The fidelity re- 
quired of stewards seems to be adverted 
to here, in order to show that the apos- 
tles acted from a higher principle than 
a desire to please man, or to be regard- 
ed as at the head of a party ; and they 
ought so to esteem them as bound, likiB 
all stewards, to be faithful to the mas- 
ter whoon th^y served^ ^ S is reguir-' 
ed. Sec It is expected of them ; it is 
the main or leading thing in. their 
office. Eminently in that office fide- 
lity is required as an indispensable and 
cardinal virtue., Fidelitji to the mas- 
ter, fiiithfulness to hia trust, as the 
virtue whRh by w^. of eminence is 
demanded there. In other offices other 
wtnea^ma^ be paiticularfy xequired. 

3 But wiA me it is a retj 
small thing that I should be 
judged of youy or of man's 

But hero fid^ty is demanded. Thia 
is lequired particulaily because it Is ai|r 
office of trust; because the master'a 
goods are at his disposal; because there 
iseo much oj^rtunity ton the steward- 
to appropriate those goods to his own 
use, so that his master cannot detect it* 
There is a strong similarity between 
the office of a steward and that of, a 
minister of the gospel. But it is not 
needful here to dwell on the resent 
bhmoe. The idea of Paul seems to be, 
(I») That a minister, like a steward, i» 
devoted to his master's service fuid 
should segard himself as such* (2.) 
That he should be fiiithfiU to that trust, 
and not aJbaae or violate it (3.) That 
he should not be jydged by his fellow 
stewards, or fellow servants, bat that 
his main desire should be to meet with 
the approbation of his ma8ter.-^A mi*' 
nister should be faithful for obvious 
reasons. Becalise, (a) He is Kpfomied 
by JeauB Christ ; (b) Because he must 
answer to him ; (ic) Because the honour 
of Chii^ and the welfare of his king- 
dom is uitnisted to him ; and (d) Be^ 
cause of the importance of the matter- 
committed to his care ; and the imporU 
ance of fidelity can be measured only 
by the consequences of his labours to 
those souls in an eternal heaven or an 
eternal hell, 

3. But wiih me. In my estimate ; 
in regard to myself. That is, I esteem 
it a matter of no concern. Since JL 
am respomdGle as a steward to my mas- 
ter only, it is a matter of smaU concent- 
what men think of me, provided I hava 
his approbation. Paul was not insea> 
sible to the good opinion of men.. He 
■did not despise their favour or court 
their contempt But this was not the 
principal thing which he regarded ; and 
we have here a noble elevation of pur- 
pose and of aim, which ehows how di- 
rect was his design to serve and please 
the master who had appointed lum to 
hia office. % TTuUlshwidbeJudged.. 

■ ■« 

A* D. 59.3 


'judgment; yea, I judge not 
mine own self: 
4 For I know nodung by my- 

Tftie wmd renderod Judged heie'<pio- 
perly denotes to examine the qimlitieg 
of any p€p9on or thing ; and sometimes 
as heire, to expra^s thk resitit of such 
examination or judgment Here it 
means to blame or eondem$i» t Of 
^fou. By you. Dear as you are to me 
as a churdi and a. people, yet my main 
desire is not to seoure your esteem, or 
to avoid y4»urceBsuTe>, but to please .my 
master, and secure ius af^robation. 
^ Or of fnaa*s judgment. 0£ an^ 
man's judgment What he had just 
■aid, thai he esteemed it to be a matter 
not worth regarding, whatever might 
b^ their opinion of him, might, seem to 
look like anrogance, or appear as if he 
looked upon them with contempt In 
order to avoid this construction of his 
language, he here says that it was not 
because he despised them, or segarded 
tiiflir opinion «as of iess value than 
that of others, but that he had the 
ame fiBelings in regard to aU men« 
Whatever mi^t be their xank, charac- 
ter, talent, or learning, he regarded it 
as a matter of the least possible «0Bse- 
quence if^at tibey thought of him. He 
was answerable not to them, but to his 
Mister; and he could jiursue an inde- 
pendent course what^ier they might 
think of his conduct This is design- 
ed also evidently to reprove th^m for 
seeking so much the praise of each 
ether. The Greek here is <of man's 
iay^ where day is used, as it often is in 
HelNcew, to .denote the day of trial ; the 
day of judgment; and then simply judg- 
ment Thus the word dv day in used 
in Job xxiv. 1. Ps. xxxviL 13. Joel L 
16 ; iL 1 ; iv. 19. MaL ilL 19. \ Yea, 
I judge nei my own sel^. I do not 
attmnpt to pronounce a judgment on 
myself. I am conscious of imperfec- 
tioo, and of being biased by self-love 
in my own jhvour. I do not feel that 
my judgment of myself would be 
■fcoctiy impartial, and in all respects to 

self; * yet am I net hereby jus- 
tified : but he that judgeth me is' 
the Lord. 


1- ' -^^ ■ — - — wnu^ 


be trusted. Favourable as may be my 
Qfmum, yet I am seasihle 4hat I may 
be biased. This is designed to soften 
what he bad just said about their judg* 
ing him, and to show further the little 
value which is to be put oa the judg- 
ment whioh man may form. < If I do 
not regard my own opinion of myself 
as of hig^ vaine, I cannot besuspected 
of undervaluing you when I say that 
I da .not much regard your opimon; 
and if I do not estimate highly my 
own opinion of myself, then it is not 
to be expected that I should -set a high 
value on the opinions of othera.' — QoA 
only is the in&IUbie judge ; and as we 
and our fellow men are liable to be 
biased in our opinions, from envy, igno- 
rance, or self-love, we should regard the 
judgment of the world as of little value. 
4. F^r I know nothing by myself^ 
There is evidoitly here .an eltipeis to 
be supplied, and it is well supplied by 
Ghrotius, RosenmiiUer, Calvin, dec. * I 
am not conscious of m/, or unfaUh' 
Juinees to myself; that is, in my mi- 
nisterial life.' It is well remarked by 
Calvin, thaft Paul does not here lefer to 
the whole of bis . life, but only to his 
apostleship. And the sense is, < I am 
conscious -of integrity in this -office. 
My own mind does not condenm me 
of ambition or unfaithfulness. Others 
may accuse me, but I am not conscious 
of th^it which should condemn me, or 
render me unworthy of this office.' 
This appeal Paul elsewhere makes to 
the integrity and faithfulness of his 
ministry. So his speech before the 
elders of Ephesus at Miletus. Acts 
XX. 18, 19. 26, 27. Con^ 2 Cor. vii. 
2; xii. 17. It' was the appeal, which 
a holy and feUhfiil man could make to 
the integrity of his public life, and 
such as eveiy minister of the gospel 
ought to be able to make. 1 Yet am 
I not hereby justified, I am not justi- 
fied became I am not conscious of a 



[A. a 69. 

5 Therefore judge • nothiBg 
before the time, until the Lord 
come, who * both will bring to 
light the hidden things of (krk- 

a Matt.7. 1 . b Bom.2.16. Revi».2. 

i» i ii i»» , .. I III. . . « I I , 

fk^re in my duty, f know that God 
die judge may see imper^tiohs wheie 
I aee nofie. I know that I may be do- 
eeited; and dierefbre,'! do not pro- 
nounce a judgment oh myself as if it 
were infallible and final. It is not by 
the consciousness of Integrity and 
fiothfulness that I expect to be saved ; 
md it does not follow that I claim to 
^ free from all personal blame. I 
know that partiality to ourselves will 
often teach us to overtook many fimlts 
that others may discern in us. ^ He 
that judgeth meii the Lord. By his 
judgment I am to abide ; and by his 
judgment I am to receive -my eternal 
sentence, and not by my own view of 
myself. He searcheth the hearts. He 
may see evil where I see none. I 
would not, dierefore, be sel^onfident ; 
but would, with humility, refer the 
whole case to him. Perhaps there is 
here a gentle and iMider repro<^ of the 
Corinthians, who were so confident in 
their own integrity ; and a gentle ad- 
monition to them to be more cautious, 
as it was posHbk that the Lord would 
detect faults in them where they per- 
ceived none. 

6. Therefore, In view of the dan- 
ger of being deceived in your judg^ 
ment, and the impossibility of cer- 
tainly knowing the fiulings of the 
heart 1 Jttdge nothing. Pass no 
decided opinion. Bee Note, Matt. vii. 
1. The apostle here takes occasion to 
inculcate on them an importimt lesson 
'^— one of the leading lessons of Chris- 
tiaiuty — ^not to pass a harsh oj^ion on 
the conduct of any man, since there are 
60 many things that go to make up his 
character which we cannot know ; and 
so many secret fiilings and motives 
which are all concealed fi'om us. t Vntil 
the Lord come. The Lord Jesus at 
the day of judgment, when all secrets 
dudl be revealed, and a true judgment 

ness, aad wiH make manifest the 
counsels of the hearts : and then 
shall werj man have praise of 

shall be passed oA all men. t ^^^ 
both will bring to Ught, See Nete, 
Rem. ii. 16. \ The hidden things 
of darkneea. The secf«t things of lie 
heart which have been hidden as It 
were in daikness. The subeequeat 
clause shows that this is the sense. 
He does not Te&r to the deeds of night; 
or those things which wero wrought 
in the secret placed of idolatry, but to 
the secret designs of the heart ; and 
perhaps means gently to insinuate 
that (here were many things i^i)out the 
dtaracter and feelings of his enemies 
whteh would not wen bear the revela* 
lions of thai day. t 7^ counsels of 
the hearts. The purposes, designs, and 
intentions <^ men. All their plans 
diali be made known in that day. And 
it is a most fearful and alarmiog truth, 
that no man can conceal his purposes 
beyond the day of judgment 5 -^tM^^ 
then shall etery man haoe praise of 
God, The word here rmdered praise 
(^vtmoi) denotes in this place reward^ 
or that which is due to him ; the jual 
sentence which ought to be pnmoanoed 
on bis character. It dees not mean as 
our translation woukl imply, that every 
man will then receive the divine appro* 
bation-^which will not be true ; but that 
every man shaU receive what is due to 
his character, Whether good or evil. 8o 
Btoomfield and Bretsdmeider ezplam 
it. Hesychius explains it by jfMi^ 
mmt (^tTtf), The word niust be Jt 
mited in its sigmfieation accordtufr to 
the subject or the connexion. Th6 
passage teaches, (1.) That we should 
not be guilty of harsh judgment of 
others. (2.) The reason is, that we 
cannot know their feelings and mo» 
tives. (3.) That all secret diings will 
be brought forth in the great day, and 
nothing be concealed beyond that timew 
(4.) That every man shall receive jci»> 
tiee there. He shall be treatedas hm 

A. D. 60 J 


6 And these things, hretbrm, 
I haive in a figure transferred to 
myself and to Apollos for jour 
sakes ; that ye might learn in ns 

oaght to be. The destiny of no one 
will be decided by tiie opinionB of 
men ; but the doom of all will be fixed 
by God. How important is it, tliere- 
-fbre^ that we be piepaied for that day ; 
and how important to dierisfa such 
feelings, and form sach plans, that f hey 
fiffiv be developed witibont invohring 
tw in shame and contempt! 

6. And these things. The things 
*Wfaich I have written respecting xeH- 
gious teachers (ch. ii. 5, 6. 23), and 
'file impropriety of forming sects caHed 
nfier their names. ^ / have in a 
Jigtire transferred to myiklf and 
Apolhs. The word here used (^m9;;^»- 
fXQftiiTtL) denotes, properly, to put on 
'another form or figure; to change 
(Phil. ill. 21, ''who dudl thange our 
idle body") ; to transform (2 Cor, xL 
IS, <*^/ra7Z^9/brmm? themBelves into the 
flipostles of Christ^) ; and then to apply 
in the way of a figure of speech* 
'This may mean that neither Paul, 
Apollos, or Peter, were set tip among 
the Corinthians as heads of parties, 
but that Paul here made use of their 
names to show how improper it would 
be to make thenl the head of a party, 
and hence, how improper It was to 
make any religions teacher the head 
of a party ; or Paul may mean to say 
that he had mentioned himself and 
Apollos particularly^ to show the im- 
propriety of what had been done ; since, 
n it was improper to make them heads 
of parties, it was much more so to 
make inferior teachers the leaders 6f 
fiictions. Locke adopts the former in« 
terpretation. The latter is probably 
the true interpretation, for it Is evident 
from ch. L 12, 13, that there were par- 
ties in the church at t^orinth that were 
called by the names of Paul, and Apol- 
' los, and Peter ; .and Paul's desigri here 
was to show the impropriety of this by 
mentioning fdmielfy ApoBos, and Peter, 
^d thus by transferring the whole dis- 


not to think of tnm above that 
which is written^ that no one of 
you be pufied u^lbr one aguntt 

eossion limn inferitr Umtfitmi sad 
leaden te diow the in^iropri^ of it 
He might have aigtted>agunai tiM im* 
proprnty of following other leaden. 
He migbl bane mentioned their names. 
But this would have-been invidious and 
indelioaiBk Itwoald4uEfeexoited#&«ar 
anger. He t hewfs ie say that he had 
trauMfeiiM it ttll lofalmself and Apofloa ; 
and it impUed that if it wsre improper 
to split themsel7es<op into Actions, vntb 
them as leaders, mnch aoie was it im- 
proper 4o follow otben; f.e. it was im- 
proper to fofrm pinrties at aU in the 
chuidi. 'I motion tills of awsehet / 
out of deUeacy I foibeivto mention the 
names of ethers.'— And this was on* 
of the instaiMes in wfaidi Paul showed 
great taii in aceoinplisling his. olijeet^ 
and avoiding rolfonee. ^ For your 
sakes. To ^Mre^your-feelinga; or to 
riMfW you in an inoflMMive manner 
what I- mean. And paitieidariy by 
this tiiat you may learn not to place «i 
inordinate value on men. 5 That ye 
might leam m im. Or ^ our eanm- 
pie and views. ^ Not to think, he* 
Since yon see the plan wlueh we 
desire to take ; ainoe yon see that we 
who have thenmk of aposties^ond hava 
been so eminentiy fovoured with en- 
dowments and snooess, do not wish to 
form parties, that you may also have 
the same views in regard to othoM. 
t Above thai which is wfitten. Pro- 
bably refering to what he had said in 
ch. iiL 5—9. 21 ; iv. 1. Or it may 
refer to tiie general strain of Scripture 
requiring the children of Ood to be 
modest and humble, t That no one 
of you be puffed up. That no one be 
proud or exidted in self-^imation 
above his neigfabodr. That no one be 
disposed to look upon others w4th oen- 
tempt, and to seek to depress and h«m- 
ble them. They should regafd'tiMis- 
selve^ as brethren, ftndas dH"^ a 
level The cBrgttment here is, thatif 


[iu D. 69. 

7 For who ^ makeih thee to 
differ from another ? and what 
*ha8t thou that thou didst not 

> iittinguithed thee. - a Jamoi 147. 

Pteul and ApoUofl did not lappoae that 
Hey had a light to put themielves at 
the baad of partiaa, mtic4 km had any 
of them a right to do 80. ThAdoetritu 
ia, (1.) That paitiaaare improper in the 
ehuroh ; (2.) That Chriatiana ahonkl le- 
gaidtheinaeiveaaaoaaIevel;aDd, (3.) 
That no one Chriatian ahonld ngaid 
otheia aa beneath him, or aa the object 
of contempt. . 

7. For who mahdht dcc^Thia 
venw oontaina a reann in what Paul 
had just said ; and the reaaon is, that 
att dbnt any of them po eocooo d had 
been derived firom God, and no en- 
dowments whatever, which they had, 
oould be laid as the foundation for 
aelf-congratulation and boasting. The 
apostle here doubtless has in his eye 
the teacbeiB in the church of CorinUi, 
and intends to show them tiiat there 
was no occasion of piide or to assume 
pre-eminence. As all that they pos- 
aessed had been given of God, it oould 
not be the occasion of boasting or self- 
eonfidenc^ 1 To d^er from another. 
Who haa aqtarated you firom another ; 
or who has made you superior to 
others. This may refer to every thing 
in which one was superior to others, or 
distmguiflhed firom them. The n^postie 
doubtless haa reference to those attain- 
menta in piety, talents, or knowledge 
by which one teacher was more emi- 
nent than others. But the same ques< 
tion may be applied to native endow- 
menta of mind; to opportunities of 
education; to the aixangementa by 
which one rises in the world; to 
health; to property ; to piety ; to emi- 
nence and usefulness in the church. 
It is God who makea one, in any of 
these respects to difiBsr firom others; and 
kia eapecially tine in regard to personal 
piety. Had not God interfered and 
Made ^ diflbrance^ all would have re- 
alike ante am. The race 

receive ? Now if thou didst re- 
ceive iti wby dost thou, glory, aj 
if thou hadst not receiv^ it 9 

would hare together vejected his mer> 
cy ; and it is only by hia distinguiah- 
ing love that anv are brought to be- 
lieve and be saved. 1 And what hoH 
thou. Either talent, piety, or learning. 
Y That thou didst not reedtfc From 
God. By whatever means you have 
obtained it, it haa been the gift of GodL 
t Why dost thou glory, dec Why 
dost thou' boast as if it were the result 
of your own toil, skill or endeavour. 
This is not designed to discourage hu» 
man exertion; but to discourage a 
spirit of vainglory and boasting. A 
man who makes the most painful and 
fiuihful effort to obtain any thing good, 
will, if successful, trace his success to 
God. He will stiU feel that it is God 
who gave him the disposition, the 
time, the strength, the success; And 
he will be grateful that he waa en* 
abled to make the effort; not vain, or 
proud, or boastful, because that he was 
suGcessfuL This passage states a gene- 
ral doctrine, that the reason why one 
man diflers from another is to be traced to 
God ; and that this fiict should repreas 
all boasting and glorying, and produce 
true humUity in the nuiids of Chria- 
tians. It may be observed, however, 
that it is as true of intellectual rank, 
of health, of Wealth, of fobd, of lai. 
ment, of liberty, of peace, as it is of 
religion, that oil come from God ; and 
as this feet which is so obvious and 
well kndwn, does not repress the ezer* 
tiona of men to preserve their health 
and to obtain property, so it should not 
repress their exertions to obtain salvai- 
tion. God governs the world on the 
same good principles everywhera ; and 
the fi^t that he is the source of all 
blessings, should not operate to .dis- 
courage, but should prompt to human 
effi>rt The hope of his aid and bleaa* 
ing is the only ground of encourage* 
ment ui any undertaking. 

A. D. 69.] 


8 Now ye arc full, now ye 
are rich, * ye have reigned as 
kings without us : and I would 

8. Ninv ye arefulL It is' genemlly 
agreed that this id spoken in irony, 
and that it ia an indignant sarcasm 
uttered against the fiilse and self-cpnfi- 
dent teachers in Corinth. The design 
is to contrast them with the apostles ; 
to flhow how self-confident and yain the 
&lse teachers were, and how laborious 
and self-denying the apostles were ; and 
to show to them how little claim they 
had to authority in the church, and the 
real claim which the apostles had iirom 
their self-denials and labours. The 
whole passage is an instance of most 
pungent and cutting sarcasm, and 
idiows ^t there may be occasions 
when irony may be proper, though it 
should be rare. An instance of cutting 
irony occurs also in regard to the 
miests of Baal, in 1 Kings xviii. 27. 
The word translated <*ye are fuH*' 
(xetogT/jiim) occurs only here, and in 
Acts xxm. 38, " And when they had 
eaten ' ettough." It is usually applied 
to a feast, and denotes those who are 
satiated or satisfied. So here it means, 
'You think yon have enough. You 
are satisfied with your conviction of 
your own knowledge, and do not feel 
your need of any thing more.' ^ Ye 
af*e rich. This is presenting the same 
idea in a diffecent form, ' You esteem 
yourselves to be rich in spiritual gifts, 
and graces, so that you do not feel the 
necessity of any more.' t Ye have 
reigned as kings. This is simply car- 
lying^orward the idea before stated ; but 
m ihe form of a climax. The first me- 
taphor is taken from TperBOUBjiUeduntk 
food / the second firom those who are so 
rich ihat they do not feel their want of 
more; the third from those who are 
nised to a throne, the highest elevation, 
where there was noUiing farther to be 
leached or desired. And the phrase 
means, thitt they had been fully satis- 
itod wijUi their condition ' and attain- 
BMBta, with their knowledge and 

to God ye did reign, oiat we alao 
might reign with you.^ 

9 For I Ibink that God halli 

power,. that tfiey lived like rich men 
and princes — ^revelling, as it were, an. 
spiritual enjoyments, and disdaining all 
foreign influence, and instruction, and 
control. Y Without us. Without our 
counsel and instruction. You have 
taken the whole management ofmat^ 
ters on yourselves without any regard 
to our advice or authority. You did 
not feel your need of our aid ; and you 
did not regard our authority. You 
supposed you could get along as weli 
without us as with us. - 1 -And Iwoufd 
to Oodye did reign. Many interpret- 
ens have understdod this ad if Paul 
had really expressed a wish that they 
were Uterai princes, that they migli 
afford protection to him in his perseoo* 
tion and troubles. Thus Grotiua^ 
Whitby, Locke, RoaenmiiHer, and Dod- 
dridge. But the more probable inter- 
pietation is, that Paul here drops the 
irony, and addresses tiiem in a sober, 
earnest maimer. It is the expressioa 
of a wish that they were as truly hap- 
py and blessed as they thought theo^ 
selves to be. < I wish that you mere so 
abundant in all spiritual improvements ; 
I wish that you had made such advanoea 
that you could be represented aa foil, 
and as rich, and as princes, neediim 
nothing, that when I came I might 
have nothing to do but to partake of 
your joy.' 8o Calvin, Lightfoot, 
Bloomfield. It implies, (1.) A wish that 
they were truly happy and blessed; 
(2.) A doubt imp^ed whether they wer0 
then so ; and, (8.) A desire on the part 
of Paul to partake of their real and 
ti^c joy* Instead of being compelled. to 
come to them with the language of ie» 
buke and admonition. €gq ver. 19* 

9. For 1 think. It aeema to me. 
Grotius thinks that this is to be taken 
iromcaUy, as if he had said, < It aeeoii 
then that God has deagned that we, tha 
apostles^ should be subject to coutoa^ 




Mt {otlk us the * apostles last, as 
it were appointed to death : for 
yf9 ' are made a ' spectacle unto 

toTfthekutapotilM. alieh.1033, *tJuatre. 

ftiMl snfieriag, and be made poor and 
persecuted, while you are admitted to 
high hoQoun and privileges.' But 
probably this is to be taken as a aeriouB 
declaration of Paul, designed to show 
their actual condition and trials, while 
others were permitted to live in enjoy- 
ment Whatever might be* their con- 
dition, Paul says that the condition of 
himself and his fellow labourers was 
one of much contempt and sufiering ; 
and the inference seems to be, that 
they ought to doubt whether they were 
in a right state, or had any occasion for 
their self-congratulation, since they so 
little resembled those whom God had 
set forth. Y Hath set forth. Has 
thawed us ; or placed us in public view. 
% The apostks last. Marg. or, the last 

Urotius supposes that this means m 
the lowest condition;,, the humblest 
state ; a condition like that of beasts. 
So Tertullian renders it And this in- 
terpretation is the correct one if the pas- 
■age be ironical. But Paul may mean 
to refer to the custom of bringing ferth 
tiiose in the amphitheatre at the con- 
dusion of the spectacles who were to 
fight with other men, and who had no 
chance of escape. These inhuman 
games abounded everywhere; and an 
aUusbn to them would be well under- 
stood, and, is indeed often made by 
Paul. Comp. 1 Cor. ix. 26. 1 Tim. 
vi. 12. 2 Tim. iv. 7. See Seneca 
£pi% ch. vii. This interpretation 
receives support from the words which 
aie used here, " God hath exhibited/' 
*< spectacle,'' or theatre^ which are all 
^»plicable to such an exhibition. - Cal- 
vin, liocke, and others, however, sup- 
pose that Paul refers to the fact that he 
was the hst of the apostles; but this 
interpretation does not suit the con- 
oesion of the passage. ^ As it mere 
(«(). Inttinating the eertaintjf of 
wth. f AppoiaUd unto death imdnar. 

the world, and to an^k, and to 

10 We are fools for Christ's 

9a/riou(). Devoted to death. The word 
occurs nowhere else in the New Testae 
ment It denotes the certainty of death, 
or the feet of being destined to death ; 
and implies that such were their conti* 
nued conflicts, trials, persecutions, that 
it was morally certain that they would 
terminate in their death, and only when 
they died, as the last gladiators on the 
stage were destined to contend until they 
should die. This is a very strong ex- 
pression ; and denotes the continuance, 
the constancy, and the intensity of their 
sufferings in the cause of Christ* 
^ We are made a spectacle, Marg. 
theatre (3«M-e»). The theatre^ or 
amphitheatre of the ancients was com^ 
posed of an arena, or level floor, on 
which the combatants fought, and 
which was surrounded by circular seats 
rising above one another to a great 
height, jiqd capable of containing 
many thousand spectators. Paul re- 
presents himself as on this arena or 
stage,' contending with foes, and des- 
tined to death. Around him and above 
him are an immensS' host of men and 
angels, looking on at the conflict and 
awaiting the issue. He is not alone or 
unobserved. Qe is made public ; and 
the universe ga^es on the struggle. 
Angels and men denote the universe^ 
as gazing upon the conflicts and strug- 
gles of the apostles. It is a vain in- 
quiry here, whether he means good or 
bad angels. The expression means 
that he was public in his trials, and 
that this was exhibited to the universe. 
The whole verse is designed to convey 
the idea that God had, for wise pur* 
poses, appointed them in the sight of 
the universe, to pains, and trials, and 
persecutions, and poverty, and want, 
which would terminate only in their 
death. See Heb. xii. 1, dtc What, 
these trials were he specifes in the fol- 
lowing verses. 

10. We 9xe fools. This is cvidoji^ 

A. D. 59.} 


i»ke, but ye ctre wise in Christ; 
we are weak, but ye are strong; 
ye are honourable, tat we ate 

ironical. 'We are doobClefls foolish 
tten, but ye are wise in Ghost We, 
Paoi ApoUofl, and Barnabas, have no 
daims to the character of wia» men— 
we are to be regarded as fools, unwor* 
thy of coi^denee, and unfit to instruct ; 
but yott are fall of wisdom.' t ^^ 
ChrUt*8 sake (^ut, X^urrov}. On bIo 
oount of Christ ; or m reference to his 
cause, or in regard to the doctrines of 
the Christian religion. ^ But ye are 
tOMe in ' Chrut, The phrase ** in 
Christ," does not di£fer in signification 
natetially from the one above; *<for 
Christ's sake." This is wholly ironi- 
cal, and is exceedingly pungent. ' You, 
Corinthians, boast of your wisdom and 
prudence. You are to be esteemed 
▼ery wise. You are unwiUing to sub- 
mit to be esteemed fools. You are 
proud of your attsdnmenta We, in 
the mean time, who are apostles, and 
who have founded your church, are to 
be regarded as fools, and as unworthy 
of publie confidence and esteem.' The 
whole design of thiis irony is to show 
the folly of their boasted wisdom. 
That they only should be wise and 
l^ident, and the apostles fools, was in 
the highest degree absurd; and this 
absurdity the apostle pnte in a strong 
light by his irony. 1 1^ are weak. 
We are timid and foeble, but you are 
daring, bold and fearless. This is 
irony. The very reverse was probably 
true. Paul was bold, daring, fearless 
in declaring the truth, whatever opposi- 
tion it might enconnteri and probably 
many of them were timid and. time- 
serving, and endeavouring to avoid per- 
aecntion, and to accommodate them- 
selves to the prejudioee and opinions of 
those who were wise in their own 
light; the preJQitices and opinions of 
tiM woiid. ^ ^ are honourable. 
Deserving oC honour and obtaining it 
8tiU ironicaL You are to be esteemed 
as worthy of piaise. ^ We 9xe d^ 


11 Even unto thin present 
hour we both hunger and thirst« 
and are naked, ' and are buffeted, 

I < ' I H I ■ I ■' ■ ■!■■■ ■ m il m> II 1 1 ^ 

spised (SfrtfAot)^ Not only actually 
contemned, but worthy to be^so^ Tfaja 
was irony also. And the design was 
to itttotw them how foolish was their 
sel^eonfidence and self-flattery, and 
their attempt to exalt themselves. 

11. Even unto this present howr, 
Paul here dirops the irony, and begins 
a serious reca]^lation of his actual 
sufferings and trials. The phrase here 
used ** unto this present hour" denotes 
that these things had been incessant 
through all their ministry* They were 
not merely at the commencement of 
their work, but they had continued and 
attended them eveiy where. And eveu 
then they were experiencing the same 
thing. These privations and trials 
were still continued, and were to be 
regarded as a part of the apostolic con- 
dition. \ We both hunger and thirst. 
The apoetles, like their nuister, were 
poor, and in travelling about from place 
to place, it often happened that they 
scarcely found entertainment of tfa^ 
plamest kind, or had^ money to pur- 
chase it. It is no dishonour to be pomr, 
and especially if that poverty is pro- 
duced by doing good to others. Paul 
might have been rich, but he chose to 
be poor for the sake of the gospel. To 
enjoy the luxury of doing good to 
othfivs^ we ought to be willing to be 
hungry and thirsty, and to be deprived 
of. our ordinal^ enjoyments. \ And 
are naked. In travelling, our clothes 
become, old and worn qut, and we have 
no friends to replace them, and no 
money to poichase new. It is no dis- 
credit to be clad in mean raiment, if 
that is . produced, fay self-denying' tcnb 
in behalf of others. There is no honour 
in gorgeous apparel ; but there is real 
honour in voluntary poverty and want, 
when produced in the cause of bene* 
volenoe. Paul was not ashamed to 
travel, to preach, and, to appear before 
prtooes and kings, in a soiled aqd 




ind have no certain dwelling- 

12 And labour,* working with 
onr own hands : being reviled, ' 

a Acts 20^ b JSjMJi.44. Acts 7.00. 

" ■ ' - ■ I ■ " "' ■ " I " I " ■ ■? ' ' III .1 ^ ■ ■ 

wom-out gftnaent, for it was worn OQt 
in the service of hk master, and Divme 
Providence had arranged the dreiun- 
atancee of hia life. Bat how muky a 
minister now woatd be ashi^iied to 
appear in snch clothing ! How many 
{Hofeased Christians are ashamed to go 
to the house of God becanae they cai>* 
not dreas well, or be in the ftahion, or 
mitshine thdr nei^boam! If an 
apostle was willing to be meanly dad 
m delivering the message of God, then 
assuredly tffe should be willing to 
preach, or to worship him in such 
clothing as he provides. We may add 
here, what a sublime spectacle was 
hero; and whataglonoas triumph of 
the truth. Here was Paul with an 
unpediment in his speech; with a 
personage small and mean rather than 
graceful ; and in a mean and tattered 
dress ; and often in chains, yet deliver* 
hig truth before which kings trembled^ 
and whidi produced everywhere a deep 
impression on the human mind. Such 
was the power of the gospel then J 
And sudi triumph did the truth then 
have over men. See Doddridge. 
5 And are buffeted, Sniick with the 
hand. Note, Matt xxvi. 67. Proba- 
bly it is here used to denote harsh and 
injurious treatment in general Comp. 
2 Cor. xii. 7. ^ And have iw eeriidn 
dwelUng-plaee. No fixed or perma^ 
nent home. They wandered to distant 
landis ; threw themselves 4»i the hoi^i* 
tality of strangers, and even of the ene- 
mies of the gospel ; when driven fram 
one place they went to another ; and 
^us they led a wandering, vncertain 
Itfe, amidst strangers aftd foesL They 
who know what are the comforts of 
home ; who are surrounded by beloved 
&milies ; who have a peaceful and ha{^y 
fire-side ; and who enjoy the MessingB 
ef domestic tranquillity, may be aUe to 
appredate the trials to whioh the apoa- 

we bksa ; being persecuted, w« 
SBffet it : 

13 Being defemed, we ea&- 
treat : we are made as the filth 

ties were m^eoteds All this was ftv 
the sake of the gospel ;^ all to paa»^ 
chase the UeoBings which we so lic^y 

13. And iabour, && This Paol 
often didl See Note, Acts xviiL 3» 
Compare Acts zz. 34. l^hessr iL 9. 
2The8s;,iii.8. ^ Being redkd. That 
they were often reeled or reproadwd» 
their histotyeveiywhieie shows. See 
the Acts of the Apostles. The^ wees 
reviled or ridiculed by the Gentiles as 
Jews ; and by all as Nazarenea, and as 
deluded followers of Jesus ; as tiie vio- 
tims. of a foolish supen^tion and en- 
thusiasm. 1 We bket. We reHxm 
good for evil. In this they foUowad 
die eacpikit direction of the Saviow. 
See Note, Matt V. 44. The mom idea 
in these passages is, that Uiey wete n» 
viled, were persecu^, &c The other 
clauses, <*we bless," '<we suffer it," 
dec. seem to be thrown iaby the wag 
to show how they bore this ill treatment. 
As if he had said < we are reviled ; 
and what is more, we bear it patiently, 
and return good for evil.' At the Sanaa 
time that he was-irecounting his triai% 
he was, therefore, inctdenta ^ inetruet^ 
i$ig Hiem in the nature of the gospel, 
and showing how their aufierings wets 
to be borne; and how to illustrate 
the excellency of the Christian doo» 
trine. Y Being persecuted* Note^ 
Matt ▼. 11. ^Wesufferit, Weso*. 
tain it; we da not revenge it; w» 
nkstain fnok msenting or resisting it. 

13. Being defianed, Greek, Bla»^ 
phemedj t. e. spoken of and to, in a 
harsh, abtuave, and reproachful manner. 
The original and proper meaning oC 
the word is to ^eak in a reproad^iil 
manner of any one, vrhether of GM or 
man. It is usually applied to God, bift 
it may also be used of men. ^ We 
entreat, Eithw God in th^ behalf 
prayti^ him to fiNgtve them, or we CK- 

^ ■ ! 

JuD. 59.] 


of the eflvth» and are the off- 
scouring * of all things unto this 

fnat thmn ta torn from their «iii% and 
ImofOM .converted to God. Probably 
the latter is the sense. They besought 
tlWBi to exanine more candidly theiir 
ahwnss instead of reviling them; and 
le save their souls by embracing the 
goepel instead of destroying them by 
ngeeting itvrith contempt and scorn. 
V We are made. We became t we 
Sie so regaided or esteemed. The 
word here does not imply that there 
was any positive agency in making 
tfaemsiich, bat simply ihat they were 
ia fiswi so regarded. ^ A* the JiUh of 
the earth. It_wo«ld not be possible to 
employ stronger denote 
the contempt and scorn with which 
they were everywhere regarded. The 
woidjUih (nfutal^4ffMtrm.) occuxs no- 
^ where else in me New Testament It 
properly denotes filth, or that. which is 
eollecfeed by sweeping a house, or that 
vriiich is . coUeded .and cast away by 
purifying or cleansing any thing; 
heiiee any vile, worthless, and contomptr 
able object Among the Greeks tfie 
word was used to denote the victiras 
which were eflSned to ea^iate crimes, 
aad particularly men of ignoble rank, 
end of a worthless and wicked charac- 
ter, who wen kept to be oflSsred to the 
gods in a time of pestilence^ to appease 
their ang«r, and to purify the nation. 
Bietschneider and Schleuaner. Hence 
it was applied by them to fnen of the 
asoat vile^ direct, vad worthless charao* 
tar. But it is not certain that Paid 
had any reference to that sense of the 
taetd. The^ whole foeee of the expres- 
sion may be met by the - soppestttoa ' 
that he naes it in the sense of that.fikh 
•r^Krt which ia collected by the process 
:€£ rl«an4ng or scouring any thing, as 
' hsing vile, contemptiMe, worthless. 60 
Ihe«peetic8 were regarded. And by the 
earef the word tiior^ here, he meant 
tO:«ay.4haA they wem reganled as the 
vile nA'wpethlmi nun whiflh tha 

14 I write not these things to 
sliame you, but as my beLoved 
9<ms*I warnyou. 

6 iThesiUiL. , 

■ M »-i > I I ■ III — — 


whole world could furnish; not only, 
the refuse of Judea» but of all the 1^ 
tions of 4he earth. As if he h^^ <^^ 
'more vile and worthless men could 
not be found on the &ce of the earth.' 
t And are the off-scouring of a(f 
thinM»» This word Or^l^f*^) oocuzf 
nowhere else in the^ New Testament. 
It does not difier materially from the 
word rendered JUtii. It denotes tl)al 
which is rubbed off by ^scouring' or 
cleaning any thing; and hence any 
thing vile or worthlesss ; or a vile and 
W(Nr£hles8 man. This tenn was also 
applied to vile and worthless men who 
were sacrificed or thrown into the sea 
as an expiatory oflS»ring, as it wore to 
purify the people. 8uidas remarka 
tiiat they said to such a man, >* be then 
our v^t^itiftA," our redemption, and 
then flung him into the sea as a sacri* 
fice to Neptune. See Whitby, Calvin, 
Doddridge. ^ UtUo tkie day. Cot^ 
tinually. We have been constantly so 
regarded. See ver. 11. 

14. To ^ame you. It is not my 
design to put you to shame by show- 
ing you how Uttle you suffisr in comp 
parison with us. This is not our 
design, though it may have this efifect 
I have no wuAi to saake you ashamed^ 
to appear to trinmph o/er you or 
merely te teunt you. My. design is 
higher and nobler than ' Jiis. 5 But at 
my behded aom» As .ny dear childrOL 
I speak as a fiither to his children, and 
I say these things for your good. No 
fiUher would dMire to make his child* 
ren ashamed. In hb counsels, en* 
treaties, and admonitions, he would 
have a higher olject than that Y / 
warn you. I do not say these thing* 
in a iutrsh manner, with « severe spirit 
of rebuke: but in order to admoniek 
you, to suggest counsel, .to inedl wis- 
dom into ths mind. I say these thiogp 
not to make you blush, but with the 
hf^ that thi!y may hs the aeaaa of 


[A. D. 59 

19 For Iboagfa ye hare ten 
thousand instructers in Christy 
yet have ye not many fathen ; 
for in Christ Jesus I have be- 
(rotten you through the gospel. 

joiir refonnatiotii and of a more holy life. 
No naMm, no minister, ought to reprove 
another merely to overwhelm him with 
shame, but the object should always be 
to make a brother better ; and the ad- 
monition should be so administered aa 
to have this end, not sourly or morose- 
ly, but in a kind, tender, and affiwtion- 
•te manner. 

16. For though ye have ten thoip- 
sand inatruetera. Though you may 
have or though you should have. It 
matters not how many you have, yet it 
ia still true that I only sustain the re- 
ktion to you of spiritual fetber, and 
whatever respect it is proper for you 
to have toward them, yet there is a pe- 
culiar right which I have to admomsh 
you, and a peculiar deference which ia 
due to me, from my early labours 
among y6u, and from the fact that you 
sre my spiritual children. ^ Instruct' 
era* Gr. Pedagogues; or those who 
conducted children to school, and who 
superintended their conduct out of 
school hours. Hence those who had 
the care of children, or teachers in 
general. It is then appUed to instruct- 
ers of any kiiid. ^ In Christ. In 
the Christian system or doctrine. The 
authority which Paul clahns here, is 
that which a ^aiher has in preference 
to such an fL^tructer. ^ JSbt many 
fathers. Spin, lal fethera. That la, 
you have but one. You are to remem- 
ber that however many teachers you 
ikave, yet that I alone am your spiritual 
fether. 1 In Christ Jesus. By the 
4ud and authority of Christ I have 
begotten you by preaching his gospel 
and by his a8Bistan9e. f I htme be- 
gotten you. I was the instnunant of 
your conversion. % Through the gos- 
pel. By means of the gospel; by 
pleaching it to you, that is by the 

16. Whertfore, Sinoo I am your 

16 Wherefore, I beseech yoUy 
be ye followers of me. 

17 For this cause have I sent 
unto you Timotheus, who is my 
beloved son and faithful in the 

spiritual fethex. Y Be yefoUower* of 
me. Imitate me ; copy my example *, 
listen to my admonitioiis. Probably 
Paul had particulariy in his eye their 
tendency to form parties; and hers 
adnuxiiahes them that he had no dispo*' 
sition to form sects, and entreato them 
in this to imitate his «zafflple. A 
minister should always so live as that 
he can, without pride or ostentatiotif 
point to his own example ; and entreat 
his people to imitete him. He should 
have such a ccmfidence ia his own in* 
tegrity ; he should lead such a blame* 
less life;and AesAottlc^^uMtirerf/Aitf 
hiaptople haoesom/uch emdeneecfhis 
integrity^ that be can point them to 
his own example, and entreat them to 
live like himselil And to do this, he 
should live a life of piety, and should 
furnish such evidence of a pure con* 
versation, that his people may hav« 
reason to regard him as a holy man. 

17. For this cause. In order to re- 
mind yon of my doctrines and my man* 
ner oi life. Since I am hindeied from 
coming myself I have sent a fellow 
labourer as my messenger, weU 'ao> 
quaioted with n^ views and feelings^ 
that he uf ight do what I would do if I 
were present t Have I sent unU>you 
Titnotheus. Thnothy, the companioik 
and fellow labourer of Paul.' This 
vras probably when Paul wiu at Eplio* 
SUB. He sent Timothy and Erastos 
into Macedonia, probably widi in* 
structions to go to Corinth if convo* 
nient Tet it was not quite certain 
that Timothy would come to them, for 
in ch. xvL 10, he expresses a doubt 
vrhether he would. Paul was probably 
deeply engaged in Asia, and did not 
think it proper then for him to leav» 
hii field of labour. He probably aup» 
posed also, that Timothy, as his ambsis* 
sador, would be able to settle the difli* 
caltifis in Goiinth as well as if Jm 


.n'n "■» 

At ©- ftdij 


Lord, wbo sball i)Ti]ig you into 
remembrance of my ways which 
be in Christy as I teach every- 
wheire in every church. 

-18 Now floma are puffed up» 
as though I would not coiue to 

vwre hiiBMll fveaent. 1 My. beloved 
mfU In tbe gospeL See AetB xvt 1 
-><^. 1 Tim. i 2. H« MtppoeecMlieMr 
liNw^ that they would VAat to him 
with great veepect Y Jaidfaithfulim 
Ute hard* A true Ohnstian and a 
ftothfol flerrant of Ghrut ;. and who 10, 
thfiiefi»re» motiky oi yta^ eauBiSieoeib^ 
\0f my way». Ky d(ietriiie» ngr 
teaching, my mode of life. 1 WMck 
fte «n ChrUt. That is, my Chasliaa 
file; a^- Bunuitiy ;iir my^ effloidiicil aae a 
Christian and a ^Uower of the Saanom. 
f^ ^ / /0aeA eMT^Aere, 4co* Thia 
was designed probably to show them 
that be laoght them'uQ new orpecnliar 
dDOtrinea; he wished them simply to 
eoaform to the oenmion rales of tfie 
cbiMches, and to be like their Ghristiut 
hietfaMn eveiywheie. The OhristiaBk 
chnrdk is feunded evorywhem.OB .the: 
auae doetrines; is bound toebsg^ the 
same laws ; and is fitted< to prichice: 
wtA diefish tfaoiwme tspaaU The aakine 
spirit thai was reqaired in Ephasns ob 
Antioeh^ was zaqiiiied at Corinth ; the. 
same spirit thatwaa refmied at Gotinlih^ 
at £ptae8B% or at Antioch^ ia re^paiiad 


18.. Nmoaomeare.pujjMup^ They 
are paffed up wit^ a.Tsin c^ifidenoa;. 
they say that I woaU not dasato^oome; 
that I would he afraid to appear among 
theiBy to administar discipline, to re- 
fanke themf or Ua supersede their an* 
thority. Probably he had been detain- 
ed by the demand on his services in 
oilier places, and' Irj varioaa proiiden- 
dal hmderanoes finm going* 4faere, Until 
Ihey sQppoeed that he sti^ed^-away 
from filar. And possibly he wight iip* 
pnheBd tirat th^ would think he had 
Timothy because he was afraid to 
himsatf, IWr eoBdoct Was an 

19 But I w3t coiBie to yon 
shortly^ if •'ihe Lord will ; and 
will know, not the speech of 
them which are puffed up, hut ^ 
the power» 

dO For tiie kingdom "" of God 
t* not in word, but in power. 

a James 4.15. b G&1.2.6. e Rom.l4J7. 

■«ii^ i« H . 

<' . fii < i'4< 

inalaHce ^ the h su gfa l imwB and arroN 
gance whioh mm ^M assame whe» 
they spppoae they sqre ift nOHdanger of 
reproof cv pun^msnt. 

19* Bui l.tiiiU eame^ It is from no 
fewpof them thst I am.kept away ; and 
tot oonmse ten^of tlus I will come to 
theun 9peedtl|!4 % If the loFd voUL 
If the ttim^ p^rini^; if by his provi» 
djenoe lui allows mo^ to go, Paul 10. 
garded the enfaffing on « journey es 
dep0ndantf on the will of God:; and 
&lt that Ood had aU in hU hand. No 
pwpeaa abouJd be. &rmed without a 
lefi^ienee to hia will; no plan without 
feeling Ihat ho ca». easily frustrato it 
qnd disajpfMiinit usi dee Jamef iy. 16. 
\ And wiU.hfum* I will exaoiine ; I 
will put to the teal ; I wiU fiilly under- 
stand. \ jfyt Urn ^MM^ ^. Not 
thiiir wiin and<Aiiqpty berating;, not their 
confident, aflrttiw, audi thaw «l^ 
cmuphieeiitvnMmk. 1 But tke.fifiwer^ 
Thfik real, ptfirur. I will put theix 
powwiti».tho:paK»oC} I wiU saowheth^ 
th«y MO ablo to'offiwtiwhat thfiy «£lrm $ 
^eter thay h«via.n»mHroil pow#r thi^ 
l halve; I wttl^tintar frii^into the woi^ 
€i <&Gqplino#»nd^ wiUjasoeiitaia whs^khee 
thegi hatre auoh anthoiilBr in thoffbiiBch» 
such a power oT. party .and of cPHuhm** 
tiQn».thafr thi^; aan. xMit me, and. op* 
poBOi my^itdminiiatiiti»n vi the disd^ 
pline whkh thoehpiuh needs, *<Apai>t 
sage," a&ya ISioomAM, ** which c9nnot» 
in nerpo audi ^vigofirt or dilpiity and 
composed oenfiienoe, ho^easily paralkl* 
ed^ even in Damosl^eaes bhnself." , 

so. Pertluf'hingdom(tf.GQd» Tho. 
nign of God m th» chmAk (Note,, Mafth^ 
iiL'S^; 'meanuig'4i«re, piobahly* Aft 
power orantherikf whk^ was to be oih. 
estasedfai th».gouaiaimettt and diaatdinn 
of tfaa dMBFoht Or-it nuty refer to diflr 



[A. B. 69. 

21 What will ye ? shall • I 
come unto you with a rod, or 


manner in which the church had been 
estabtished. < It has not been set np by 
empty boasting; by pompous preten- 
sions; by confident assertions. Such 
empty boasts would do little in the 
great woik of founding, governing, 
and preserving the church ; and unless 
men have some higher powers than this 
they are not qualMed to be religious 
teachers and guides.' 1 But in power* 
(1.) In the minculous power by whiidi 
the church was established — ^tbe power 
of the Saviour and of the apostles in 
working miracles. (2.) In the power of 
fhe Holy Ghost in the gift of tongues, 
and in his influence on the heart 
in converting men. Note, ch. i. 18. 
(3.) In the continual power which is 
jDeedfol to protect, defend, and govern 
the church. Unless teachers dbowed 
that they had meh power, they were 
not qualified for tiieir office. 
21. What imil ye. It. depends on 

Jrourselves how I shall come. If you 
ay aside your contentions and strifes ; 
if you administer disciplme as yon 
should ; if you give youiselves heartily 
aiid entirely to the work of the Lord, I 
shall eome, not to reprove or to punish, 
but as a fiither and a firiend. Bat if 
you do not heed my exhortations or 
the labours of Timothy; if yon still 
continue your contentions, and do not 
remove the occasions of offence, I shall 
come with severity and Ihe language 
of rabttke. ^ With « rod. To cor- 
rect and punish. ^ In the tpirit of 
meelmess. Comforting and commend- 
ing instead of chastising. Paul inti- 
mates that this depended on them- 
telves. They had -the power, and it 
was their duty to administer discipline ; 
but if they would not do it, the task 
would devolve on Um as the founder 
md father of the church, and as in- 
trusted with power by the Lord Jesus 
to administer the severity of Christian 
discipline, or to punish those who 
offended by bodily sufikiing. See eh. 
▼•'6 ; di. zL 80. Seo also the case of 

in love, and in the spirit of 
meekness ? 


Anantss and Sapphira (Acts ▼. 1, dec), 
and of Blymas the soioerer. (Ads 
xiii, 10, 11.) 


1st. We should endeavour to foim a 
proper estimate ai the Christian minis- 
tiy. ver. 1. We shoiM regaid minis- 
ters as the servants of Jesus Chiial^ 
and honour them for their mastm^i 
sdce ; and esteem them alsd in propoi^ 
tion to their fidelity. They are enti- 
tled to respect as the ambassadors of 
the Son of God ; but that respect also 
AoM be in proportion to Hhen 

bhmoe of him and their fiuthfulness in 
their woik. Th^ ^o love the mina^ 
ten of Christ, who are like him, and 
who are feitiiftil, love the master that 
sent them ; they who hate and dewpiao 
them dMgiae hhn. See Matt x. 40— 

2d. Ministen AwM be feitfafaL ver. 
2. They are the stewards of Christ. 
Tliey are appointed by him. They are 
responsible to hims Th6y have a moat 
important trust — more important than 
any ether stewards, and they diould 
live in such a manner as to receive the 
approbation of their master. 

3d. It is of little consequence whid 
the world thinks of us. ver. 3. A 
good name is on many accounts desii«» 
ble ; but it should not be the leadinf^ 
ooiuideration ; nor should we do any 
thing merely to obtain it Desirable «• 
is a fidr reputation, yet the opinion of 
the .world is not to bo too highly 
valued; for, (1.) It often misjudges; 
(2.) It is prejudiced for or against ua ; 
(3.) It is not to decide our final desti- 
ny ; (4.) To desire that simply, is a 
selfish and base passion. 

4th. The esteem evea of fiiendt im 
not be the leading object orMfe. ver. 8. 
This is valuable, but not so valuable bb 
the approbation of God. Friends asa 
partial, and even where they do not 
approve our course, if we are oonscieii* 
tious, we should be wilting to bear 
with Iheir diaappKobatiaii. A goBd 

A, D. 59.] 


-eonsdence ia every .thing. The s^pio- 
bation even of fnends cannot help us 
in the day of judgment 

5th. We should distrast oaTselvee. 
▼er. 3, 4. We afaonld not pronounce 
too confidently on our motives or our 
conduct. We may be deceived. There 
may be nmch even in our own mottvee 
thalmay eluda our most careful inqui* 
ry. This sl^ould teach us humility, 
and self-distrust, and charity. Know- 
ing our own jiableness to misjudge our- 
selves, we should look with kmdness 
on the foults and failings of others. 

6th. We see here thenature of the 
fiiture judgment ver. 5. (1.) The 
hidden things of darkness wiU be 
biqnght out>---all the secret crimes, and 
plans, and, purposes of men will be 
developed. All that has been done in 
secret, in darkness^ in the night, in pa- 
laces and in prisons, will be developed. 
What a dev^opment wiU take place in 
the great day when the secret crimes 
of a world shall be revealed ; and when 
all that has now escaped the notice of 
men, and th^ punishment of courts, 
shall be brought out! (2.) Every 
man's secret thoughts shall be levotled. 
There will be no concealment then. 
All that we have devised or desired ; 
•11 the thoughts that we have forgotten, 
shall there be brought out to noonday. 
How will the sinner tremble when all 
his thoughts are made known ! Sup- 
pose, unknown to him, some person 
had been writing down all that a man 
has thought for a day, a week, or a 
year, and should begin to read it to 
nim. Who is there that would not 
hang his head with shame, and trem- 
ble at such a record ? Yet at the day of 
£' 'Bfment the thoughts of the whole 
will be revealed. (3.y Every man 
1 be judged as he ought to be. God 
is impartial. The man that ought to 
be saved will be ; the man that ought 
not will not be. How solemn will be 
the impartiai trial of the worlds 
Who can think of it but with alarm ! 

7th. We have no occasion for pride 
or vain-boasting, ver. 7. All that we 
have of beauty, health, wealth, honour, 
gxioe, has bera given to us by God. 

For what he has jfiven Hi we shoidd 

be grateful; but it should not excits 
pride. It is, indeed, valuable beeauec 
God gives it, and we should remember 
his mercies, but we diould not boast 
We have nothing to boast -el Had 
we our deserts, we should be driven 
away in his wrath, and mads wreskchsd. 
That any are out of hell is matter of 
thankiuioess ; that one possesses mone 
than another proves that God is ft 
sovereign, and not that we are mate 
worthy than another, or that there is 
by nature any ground of prefivenos 
which one has over another. 

8th. Irony and sarcasm are some- 
times lawful and proper, ver. 8—10. 
But it is not often as rafe as it was in 
the hands of the apostle Paul, Few 
men can regulate the talent prq>erly ; 
few should allow themselves to indulge 
in it. It iB-fwrely employed in th^ 
Bible ; and it is rarely employed else- 
where where it does not do injury. The 
cause of truth can be usually sustained 
by sound argument; and that which 
cannot be thus defended is not worth 
defence. Deep wounds are often made 
by the severity of wit and irony ; and 
an indulgence in this usually pre- 
vents a man from having a single 

9th. We see ftcm this chapter what 
religion has cost ver. 9 — 13. Paul 
states the sufferings that he and the 
other apostles endured in order to es- 
tablish it They were despised, and 
persecuted, and poor, and regarded as 
the refuse of the world. The Christian 
religion was founded on the blood of 
its author, and h^ been reared amidst 
the sighs and tears of its friends. All 
its early advocates were subjected to 
persecution and trial; and to engage 
in this work involved the certainty of 
being a inart3rr. JiVe enjoy not a bless- 
ing which has not thus be^ purchased ; 
and which has not come to us through 
the self-denials and toils of the best 
men that the earth has known. Per- 
secution raged around all the early 
friends of the church ; and it rose and 
spread whUe the fire of martyrdom 
spread, and while its friends weyt 




1"T is reported commonly that 
^ there i$ foraication among 
y^xif and such fornication as is 

Wf l I III I !«■ I ■ I I. 

eveiy^ere oast otft as evil, and called 
to bleed hk 'its defeneD. 

10th. We have hem an iitustrious 
ittstanoe of the manner in which re- 
proach, and contempt, and mom should 
be borne. v€r. 12, 13. The apostles imi- 
tated &e example of ^eir Master and 
£>llowed his precepts. They {Hnyed for 
their enentfes, persecutors, and slander- 
en. Thet6 is nothing but religion that 
tan produce this spirit; and this can 
do it always. The Saviour evinced 
it ; his apostles evinced it ; end all 
$hotUd evince it, who profess to be its 
triends. — We may remark, (1.) Thi« 
is not produced by nature. It is the 
Work of grace alone. (^0 It is the 
-very spirit and genius of CfaaristlBnity 
to produce it. (8.) Nothing but reli- 
gion will enable a man to bear it, and 
win produce this temper and spirit 
(4.) We have an instance here of 
What aU GhriMians abould evince. All 
should be in dus like the apostles. All 
flhould be like the Baviour himselC 

11th. We have an argument here 
far the truth of the Christian religion. 
The argument is Ibonded on the &ct 
that the apostles were vntting to'su^r 
so much in order to establfeh it— They 
professed to have been eye-witnesses 
of what th^ affirmed. They htKl 
notiiing to gain by spreading it if it 
Was not true. They exposed them- 
selves to persecution on this account, 
and became willing to die rather than 
deny its truth. — Take, for example, the 
case of the apostle Paul. (1.) He had 
every prospect of honour and of weidth 
in his own country. He had been li- 
berally educated, and had the confi- 
dence of his countrymen. He might 
have risen to the highest station of 
trust or- influence. He had talents 
which would have raised him to dis- 
thiction anywhere. (2.) "He could 
not have been mistaken in regard to 
Hie events connected with his eonver- 

not 80 much as named among 
the Gentiles, that • one should 
have his father^s wife. 

sion. Ai;^ ix. The soene, the yMim, 
the light, the blindness, we«s all thlttgs 
which could not have been coiAiter- 
feifeed. They were opok and public. 
They did not oeear **in a comer." 
(3.) He had no earthly motive to 
change his coorae. Christianity was 
despised when he embraced it; its 
Mends were 'few and poor 4 and it had 
no prospect of sprea^ying through the 
world. It conferred no w^th ; bestow- 
ed no diadem; imparted no hoonm; 
gave no ease ; conducted to no friend- 
ship of the great and the mighty. It 
subjected its friends to persecution, and 
tears, and trials, and death. What 
should tntkice such a man to make 
such a change? Why should Paul 
have embraced this, but from a convic- 
tion of its truth 1 How could he be 
convinced of that truth except by sotae 
argument that should be so strong tm 
to overcome his hatred to it, make him 
willing to renonnce all his prospects 
for it ; to encounter all that the woild 
could heap upon him, and even death 
itself, rather than deny it ? But such 
a religion had a higher than any earthly 
origin, and must have been from God. 

13th. We may expect to suffer 1^ 
proach. It has been the common lot 
of all, from tiie time of the Master hiaib- 
self to the present. Jesus was re- 
proached ; the apostles were-repreaoh- 
ed; the mtfftyrs were reproached, and 
we are not to be surprised that minis- 
ters and Christians are called to like 
trialanow. It is enough <<for the dis- 
ciple that he be as his ]lb»ter, and the 
servant as his Lord." 


This chapter is enttrefy occupied 
vrith a' notice of nn o£fence which ex- 
isted in the church at Corinth, and 
with a statement of the measures 
which the apostle expected tlmn to 
pursue in regafd to it. Of the exist- 
ence t»f this offence he had been In- 

A.D. 69.3 



finrmed, probably hy ''thorn of &e 
hoafe of Chlooy'' eh. i. 11, and there ia 
leasbn to suppose that they had not 
even alluded to it in the letter which 
they had sent to him asking advice. 
See ch. vii. 1. Comp. the Introduc- 
tion. The apostle (ver. 1) repines 
ihem for tolerating a species of licen- 
tiousness which was not tolerated even 
by. the heathens; he reproves them 
(▼er. 2) for being puffed up with pride 
even while this scandal exiisted in their 
church ; he ordered them forthwith to 
pnrify the church by removing the in- 
cestuous person (ver. 4, 6) ; and ex- 
horted them to preserve themselves 
from the influence which a single 
eorrupt person might have, operating 
lake leaven in a mass, .(v^^* ^> "^O 
Then, lest they i^ould mistake his 
meaning^* and suppose that by com- 
manding them not to ke^ company 
with licentious persons (ver. 9), he 
meant to say, that they should with- 
draw all intercourse from the heathen 
who were known to be idolaters aiid 
corrupt, he says that that former com- 
mand was not designed to forbid all 
intercom;^ with them, (ver. 9 — ^^12) ; 
but that he meant his injunction now 
to extend particularly to such as were 
professed members of the church ; that 
they were not to cut off all interpourse 
with society at large because it was 
corrupt ; that if any man professed to 
be a Christian and yet was guilty of 
such practices they were to disown him 
(ver. 11) ; that it was not his province, 
nor did ne assume it, to judge the hea- 
then world which was without .the 
diurch (ver. 12) ; but that this was 
entirely consistent with the view that 
he had a right to exercise discipline 
toithin the church, on such as pro- 
fessed to be Christians; and that there- 
foine, they were bound to put away that 
wicked person. 

\\ U is reported* Gr. It is heard. 
There is a rumour. That rumour had 
been brought to Paul, probably by the 
inembers of the family of Chloe. ch. 
ill. ^ Commonly {"Ohmy ' Every- 
where. It is a matter ot common 
ftme. It is /K> public that it cannot be 

9 . 

concealed ; and ao certain that it can- 
not be denied. This was an ofience, 
he informs us, which even the heathen 
would not justify or tolerate ; and, therah 
fore, the report had spread not .only 
in the churches, but even among the 
heathen, to the great scandal of re& 
gion. — When a report obtains 9wh m 
circulation, it ia certainly time to in- 
vestigate it, and to correct the evil, 
t That there is fomicatioru See 
Note, Acts XV. 20. The word is here 
used to denote incest; for the apostle 
immediately explains the nature of the 
offence. \ And tuch fomicatUmj &x^ 
An oflenoe that is not tolerated or 
known among the heathen. This 
greatly aggravated the o£Eenoe, that in 
a Christian church a crime should be 
tolerated among its members which 
even gross heathens would regard with 
abhorrence^ That this ofience was le* 
garded with abhorrence by even the 
heathens has been abundantly proved 
by quotations from classic writers. See 
Wetstein^ Bloomfield, and Whitby. 
Cicero says of the offence, expressly, 
that *' it was an incredible and unheard 
of crime." Pro Cluen. 5. 6. — When 
Paul says that it was not *< so much as. 
named among the Gentiles,'' he doubt- 
less uses the word (or^^a^trdw) in the 
sense of named witk^ e^probation, 
toleraiedf or allowed. The crime was 
known in a few instances, but chiefly 
of those who were princes and rulers ; 
but it was nowhere regarded with ap- 
probation, but was always treated a« 
abominable wickedness. All tl^t the 
connexion requires us to. understand 
by the word ** named'' here is, that it 
was not tolerated or allowed; it wae 
treated with abhorrence, and it was, 
therefore, more scandalous that it wae 
allowed in a Christian church. — Whit* 
by supposes that this oironce that was 
tolerated in the church at Corinth gave 
rise to the scandals that were circulated . 
among the heathen respecting the ear^ 
Christians, that they allowed of Ucea. 
tious intercourse amon|r *he members of 
their churches. Tbii reproach was cur-^ 
culated e:^tervsivetj among the heathen^ 
and the primitive Christians were at 


2 And ye axe puffed up, and 
have not rather mourned, ' that 
he that hath done thk deed 
might he taken away from among 

much pains ' to refbte it t That one 
thould have. Probably as his wife; 
or it may mean simply that he had 
criminal intercourse with her. Per- 
hsLpB some man had parted with his 
vvL%, on some account, and his son had 
m^ied her, or maintained her for cri- 
mina! intercourse. It is evident from 
2 Cor. vii. 12, that die person who had 
•nfifered the wrong, as well as he who 
had done it, was still alive. — ^Whether 
this was marriage or concubinage, has 
been disputed by commentators, and it 
is not possible, perhaps, to' determine. 
See the subject discussed in Bloom- 

% Ana ye are puffed up. Note, 
c3l iv. 18. .. You are fill^ with pride, 
and with a vain conceit of your owii 
wisdom and purity, notwithstanding the 
existence of this enormous wickedness 
in your diurch. This does not mean 
that they were puffed up, or proud on 
account of the existence of "this wick- 
edness, but they were filled with pride 
notunthstandingf or in spite of it 
They ought to have been a humbled 
people. They should have mourned ; 
and should have given their first atten- 
tion to the removal of the eviL But 
instead of this, they had c^en indul- 
gence to prbud feeling, and had be- 
come elated with a vain confidence m 
their spiritual purity. Men are always 
elated and proud when they have the 
least occasion for^it 1 And have not 
rather moumedf &c. Have not rather 
been eo afflicted, and trottUad as to 
take the proper means for removing 
the offence. The word mourn here is 
ta^en in that large sense. Ye have 
not been so much afiUcted — so troubled 
trith the existence of this wickedness, 
•8 to take the proper measures to re- 
move the offender.^«4cts of discipline 
iB^ church should alwi^s commence 


[A^D* 69. 

3 For I verily^ as ahfiei^it * is. 
body, but precfent in spirit, hare 
^judged already, as though I 
were present, concerning him 
that hath so done this deed ;. 

b CoL3.5. < or, detwmUuA. 

with mourning that there is occasion 
for it It should not be angety or 
pride, or revenge, or* party feeling, 
which prompt to it It i^ould be dee^ 
grief that ther^ is occaaon for it ; ana 
tender compassion for "the ofiender. 
t Might he taken away. By excpm- 
munication. He should not, while he 
continues in this state, be allowed, to 
remain in your communion. 

3. For I verilu. But I, whatever 
it may cost me ; nowever you may es- 
teem my interference; and whatever 
personal ill-will may be the result to- 
wards me, have adjudged this case to 
be so flagrant as to demand the exercise 
of discipline, and since the church to 
whom it belongs have neglected it, I 
use the authority of an apostle, and of 
a spiritual father, in directing it to take 
place. This was not a formal sentence 
of excommunication ; but it was the 
declared opinion of an apostle that 
such a sentence should be passed, and 
an infunction on the church to exercise 
this act of discipline. ^ As absent in 
body. Since I am not personally pre- 
sent with you, I express my opinion ia 
this manner. I am absent in body 
from you, and cannot, therefore, take 
those steps in regard to it which I 
could were I present ^ But present 
in spirit* My heart is with you ; my 
feeimgs are with you ; I have a deep 
and tender interest in the case ; and I 
judge as if I were personally present 
Many suppose that Paul by this re- 
fers to a power which was given to the 
apostles, though at a distance, to dis- 
cern the real circumstances of a case 
by the gift of the Spirit Comp. Col. - 
u. 5. 2 Kings v. 26 ; vi. 12. (Whitby, 
Poddridge, &c.^ But the phrase does 
not demand this interpretation. Paul 
meant, probably, that though he was 
absent, yet his mind and attent^H ^d 


Jt. D. 69-3 



4 In the name • of our Lord 

Jesus Christ, when ye are ga- 

^thered together, and my spirit, 

a 2Cor.2.9,10. 

been given to this subject ; he &lt as 
deeply as though he were present, and 
would act in the same way. He had» 
in some way, been fully apprized cff all 
the circumstances of the case, and he 
felt it to be his duty to express his 
views on the subject. ^ Have judged 
already. Margin, Determined (jciicg/»si). 
I have made up my mind; have de- 
cided, and do decide. That is, he had 
determined what ought to be done in, 
the case. It was a case in which the 
oouTse which ought to be pursued was 
plain, and on this point his mind was 
settled. What that course should be he 
states immediately, t -^ though I were 
present. As though I had a personal 
knowledge of the whole affair, and 
were with you to advise.~We may be 
certain that Paul^ had the fullest infor- 
mation as to this case ; and that the 
circumstances were well known. In- 
deed, it was a case about the facts of 
whidi there could be no doubt They 
were eveiy where known (ver. 1), and 
there was no need, therefore, to attempt 
to establish them by formal proof. 

4. In the namet &c. By the authority ; 
or in the behalf; or acting by his com- 
jnission or power. 2 Cor. ii. 10. 8ee 
Note, Acts iii. 6. This does not refer 
to Paul alone in declaring his opinion, 
but means that they were \o be assem- 
bled in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
and that they were to proceed to exer- 
cise discipline by his authority. The 
idea is, that the authority to administer 
discipline is derived from the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and is to be exercised in 
his name, and to piomote his honour. 
^ W^ ye are gathered together. Or, 
'You being assembled in the name of 
the Lord Jesus.' This is to be con- 
nected with the previous words, and 
means, (1.) That they were to be assem- 
bled for the purpose of administering 
discipline ; and ^.) That this was to be 
done ia the name and l^ the authority | 

with the power * of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, 

5 To deliver ' such an one 

b B(att.l6.I9. Jiio.20.SS. e lTim.1.20. i^ 

a( the Lord Jesus, t Andlny spirit. 
ver. 3. As if I were with you ; that is, 
with my declared opinion; knowing 
what I would advise, were I one of you ; 
or, I being virtually present with you 
by having delivered my opinion, ft 
cannot mean that Paul's soid would be 
really present with them, but that, 
knowing his views and feelings, and 
what he would do, and knowing his love 
for them, they could act as if he were 
there. This passage' proves tb^at disci* 
pline belongs to the church itself; and 
so deep was Paul's conviction of this, 
that even he would not administer it^ 
without their concurrence and action* 
And if Paul would not do it, and 
in a case too where bodily pains were 
to be inflicted by miraculous agency, 
assuredly no other ministers have a 
right to assume the authority to admi- 
nister discipline without the action and 
the concurrence of the church itselfl 
t With the power, 6cc, This phrase is 
to be connected with the following 
verse. * 1 have determined what ought 
to be done. The sentence which I 
have passed is this. You are to be 
assembled in the name and authority 
of Christ. I shall be virtually present 
And yott' are to deliver such a one to 
Satan, by the power of our Lord Jesiis 
Christ,* That is, it is to be done by 
you ; and the miraeulous power vrhidi 
will be evinced in the case will proceed 
from the Lord Jesus. The word power 
(Jwd/ut()f is used commonly in the New 
Testament to denote some miraculous 
and extraordinary power ; and here 
evidently means that the Lord Jesus 
would put forth such a power in the 
infliction of pain and for the "preserva- 
tion of the purity of his church. 

5. To deUver. This is the sentence' 
which is to be executed. You are to 
deliver him to Satan,- &c. 1 Unto 
Satan, Beza, and the Latin fathers, 
suppose that this is only an expression' 



[A. D. 50. 

Unto Satan lor the destniction of 
the flesh, that the * spirit may be 


of excommunicatioii. lliey say, that in 
the Scriptures there are but two i^ng- 
doms recognised — ^the kingdom of God, 
or the church, and the liingdom of the 
world, which is regarded as under the 
control of Satan ; and that to exclude 
a man from one is to subject him to the 
dominion of the other. There is some 
foundation for this opinion ; and there 
can be no doubt that excommunication 
is here intended, and that, by excom- 
munication, the offender, was in some 
■ense placed under the control of 
Satan. It is further evident that it is 
here supposed that by being thus placed 
under him the offender would be sub- 
ject to corporal inflictions by the agency 
of Satan, which are here called the 
** destruction of the flesh.'' Satan is 
elsewhere referred to as the author of 
bodily diseases. Thus in the case of' 
Job. Job ii. 7. A similar instance is 
mentioned in 1 Tim. L 20, where Paul 
says he had delivered Hymeneas and 
Alexander to ** Satan, that they might 
kam not to blaspheme." It may be 
observed here that though this was to 
be done by the concurrence of the 
church, as having a right to administer 
diMsipline, jet it was directed by apos- 
tolic authority; and there is no evi- 
dence that this was the usual form of 
excommunication, nor ought it now to 
he used. There was evidently miracu" 
hu8 power evinced in thi^ case, and 
that power has long since ceased in the 
church. ^ For the destmction of the 
Jltah. We may observe here, (1.) That 
this does not mean that the man was to 
die under the infliction of the censure, 
for the object was to recover him ; apd 
it is evident that, whatever he suffered 
as the consequence of this, he survived 
11, and Paul again instructed the Corin- 
thians to admit him to their fellowship. 
2 Cor. ii. 7. (2.) It was designed to 
punish him for licentiousness of life — 
often called in the Scripture one of the 
■ins, or works of the flesh (Gal. v. 19), 
and the design was that the punish- 

saved in the day of the Lord Jesus, 
6 Your glorying * is not good. 

6 James 4.16. 

^ - - I - - ^ 11. _ __\_i 

ment should follow in the line of the 
offence, or be a just retribution—- m 
punishment often . does. Maciy have 
supposed that by the "destruction of 
the flesh" Paul meant only the destruc- 
tion of his fleshly appetites or carnal 
affections; and that he supposed that 
this would be effected by the act of ex- 
communication. But it is very evident 
from the Scriptures that the apostles 
were imbued with the power of inflicting 
diseases or bodily calamities for crimes. 
See Acts xiii. 1 1. 1 Cor. xi. 30. What 
this bodily malady was, we have no 
means of knowing. It is evident that 
it was not of very long duration, since 
when the apostle exhorts them (^ Cor. 
ii. 7) again to receive him, there is no 
mention made of his suffering then 
under it. — This was an extraordinary 
and miraculous power. It was designed 
for the government of the church in its , 
infancy, when every thing was fitted to 
show the direct agency of God ; and it 
ceased, doubtless, with the apostles. 
The church now has no such power. . 
It cannot now work miracles ; and all . 
its discipline now is to be moral disci* 
pline, designed nbt to inflict bodily pain 
and penalties, but to work a moral re- 
formation in Uie offender. ^ That the , 
spiHt may he saved. That his soul 
might be saved ; that he might be coi^ 
reeled, humbled, and reformed by these 
sufferings, and recalled to the paths of 
piety and vihue. This expresses tl^ 
true design of the discipline of the 
church, and it ought never to be in- 
flicted but with a direct intention to 
benefit the offender, and to save the 
soul. Even when he is cut off aud 
disowned, the design should not be 
vengeance, or punishment merely, but 
it should be to recover him and save 
him from ruin. ^ In the day of the ^ 
Lord Jesus, The day of judgment 
when the Lord Jesus shall come, and 
shall collect his people to himsel£ 

6. Your glorying. Your boasting ; 
or confidence in your present condition, 

A.D. 69.] 



Know ye not that a little leaven 
• leaveneth the whole lump ? 

a Luke 13.21. 

as' if you were eminent in parity and 
piety. Y Lt not good. Is not well, 
proper, right Boasting is never good ; 
but it is especially wrong when, as here, 
there is an existing evil that is likely to 
corrupt the whole church. When men 
are disposed to boast, they should at 
once make the Inquiry whether there is 
not some sin indulged in, on account 
of which they should be humbled and 
subdued. If all individual Christians, 
and all Christian churches, and all men 
of every rank and condition, would look 
at things as they are", they would never 
fitid occasion for boasting. It is only 
when we are blind to the realities of 
th^ case, and overlook our faults, that 
we are disposed to boast. The reason 
why this was unproper in Corinth, Paul 
states-— that any sin would tend to cor- 
rupt the whole church, and that there- 
fore they ought not to boast until that 
was removed. ^ A little leaven, &c. 
k small quantity of leaven or yeast will 
pervade the entire mass of flour, or 
dough, and difiuse itself through it all. 
This is evidently a proverbial sayii^. 
It occurs also in Gal. v. 9. Comp. 
Note, MatL ziii. 33. A similar figure 
occurs also in the Greek classic writers. 
—By leaven the Hebrews metaphori- 
cally understood whatever had the 
power bf corrupting, whether doctrine, 
or example, or any thing else. See 
Note, Matt xvi. 6. The sense here is 
plain. A single sin indulged in, or 
allowed in the church, would act like 
leaven — it would pervade and corrupt 
the whole church, unless it was re- 
moved. On this ground, and fat this 
reason, disdpline should be adminis- 
tered, and the corrupt member should 
be removed. 

7. Purge out therefore, Ac Put 
away ; free yourselves from. 1 The 
old leaven. The apostle here takes 
occasion, from the mention of leaven, to 
exhort the Corinthiuis to put away 
"\ce and sin. The figure is derivcMcl 

m the custom of the Jews hi patting 

7 Purge out therefore the old 
leaven, &at ye may be a new 

away leaven at the celebration of the 
passover. By the old leaven he means 
vice and sin; and also here the per- 
son who had committed the sin in 
their diurch. As the Jews, at the 
celebration of the passover, gave all 
diligence in removing leaven from their 
houses — searching every part of their 
dwellings with candles, that they might 
remove every particle of leavened bread 
from their habitations — so the apostle 
exhorts them to use all diligence to 
search out and remove all sin. ^ That 
ye may he a new lump. That you 
may be like a new mass of flour, or 
dough, before the leaven is pat into it 
That you may be pure, and free from 
the corrupting principle. ^ As ye are 
unleavened. That is, as ye are bound 
by your Christian profession to be un- 
leavened, or to be pure. Your very 
profession implies this, and you ought, 
therefore, to remove ail impurity, and 
to become holy. . Let there be no im- 
purity, and no mixture inconsistent 
with that holiness which the gospel 
teaches and requires. The apostle here 
does not refer merely to the case of the 
incestuous person, but he takes occasion 
to exhort them to p^t away a// sin. 
Not only to remove this occasion of 
oilence, but to remove aU impurity, that 
they might become entirely and only 
holy. The doctrine is, that Christians 
are by their profession holy, and that 
therefore they ought to give all dili- 
gence to remove every thing that is 
impure. Y For even Christ, dec. Ab 
the Jews, when their paschal lamb was, 
slain, gave great diligence to put away 
all leaven from their dweOings, so 
we Christians, siiiee ttur passover is 
slain, ought to give the like diligence 
to remove all that is impure and cor- 
rupting from.our hearts. — ^There can bQ 
no doubt here' that the paschal Iamb . 
was alype'of the Messiah; and as little 
that the leaven was understood to be, 
emblematic of impurity and sin, t^ia 
that their being required to put it aw^ 



[A.D. 69. 

lamp, as ye are unleavened. 
For even Christ •» our passover 
is ^sacrifieed for us : 

a ba.63.7. IFM.1.19. Sev^^lS. 1 0T,siain. 

was intended to be an emblematic action 
designed to denote that ail sin was to 
be removed and forsaken. ^ ^^ 
; musQoer. Our ptuehal lamb, for so 
} me word irda^^tt usually signifies. The 
sense is, *■ We Christians have a paschal 
lamb; and that lamb is the Messiah. 
And as the Jews, when their paschal 
lamb was slain, were required to put 
away all leaven from their dwellings, 

00 we, when our paschal lamb is slain, 
ehould pot away all sin from our hearts 
and from our churches.' This passage 
proves that Paul meant to teach that 
Christ had taken the place of the pas- 
chal lamb — that that lamb was designed 
to adumbrate or typify him — and that 
consequently when he was oi&red, the 
paschal oflcring was designed to cease. 
Christ is often in the Scriptures com- 
pared to a lamb. See Isa. liii. 7. John 
i«9. 1 Pet i. 19. Rev. v. 6. 12. t ^ 
ioerlfieed for U9, Maigin, Or slain 
(tTvoM). The word d-y» may mean sin> 

* ply to slay or kill ; but it is also used 
Oiften in the sense of making a sacrifice 
as an expiation for sin. Acts ziv. 13. 
18. 1 Cor. X. 20. Comp. Gen. xxxi. 
64; xlv. 1. Ex. ilL 18 ; v. 3. 8. 17 ; 
viii. 8. 25-^29 ; xiil 15 ; xz. 24. 2 
Chron. XV. 26, where it is used as the 
translation of the word nas, to sacri- 
fice. It is used as the translation of this 
word no less than ninety-eight times in 
the Old Testament, and perhaps always 
in the sense of a saeri/iee, or bloody 
oaring. It is also used as the transla- 
tion <^ tiie Hebrew word nso, and onr, 
to slay> to kill, Ac in Ex. xlL 2U 

1 Kings xL 19; xxv. 11. 2 Chron. 
XXIX. 22, &e. ; in all in eleven places 
in the Old Testament It is used in a 
■imilar sense in the New Testament, in 

' Matt xxil 4. Luke xv. 23. 27. 30. 
Jdhn X. 10. Acts x. 13 ; xi. 7. It oc- 
curs nowhere else in tiie New Testa- 
ment than in the places which have 
ten specified* — The true eense of the 

8 Therefore let us keep ' the 
feast, ' not with old leaven, nei- 
ther with the ^ leaven of malice 

9 or, hdif day. h Ex. 13.6. c fliatt 16.6^13. 

word here is^ therefore, to be found in 
the doctrine respecting the passover. 
That that was intended to be a sacrifice 
for sin is proved by the nature of the 
offering, and by the account which is 
everywhere given of it in the Old 
Testament The paschal lamb was 
slain as a sacrifice. It was slain in the 
temple ; its blood was poured out as an 
offering; it was sprinkled and ofifered 
by the priests in the same way as other 
sacrifices. See Ex. xxiiL 18; xxxiv. 
25. 2 Chron. xxx. 15, 16. And if so, 
then this passage means tiiat Christ was 
offered as a sacrifice for sin — in ao> 
cordance with the numerous passages of 
the New Testament, which speak of hia 
death in this manner (see Note, Rom. 
iii. 25) ; and that his offering was de- 
signed to take the place of the paschal 
sacrifice, under the ancient economy. 
Y For us. For us who are ChristianSt 
He died in our stead ; and as the Jews, 
when celebrating their paschal &as^ 
put away all leaven, so toe, as Chris- 
tians, should put away all e^ from our 
hearts, since tiiat sacrifice has now been 
made once for all. , 

8. Let us keep the feast. Margin, 
Holi/ day Qop-S^atfAtf). This is lan- 
guage drawn m>m the paschal feast, and 
is used by Paul frequently to cany out 
and apply his illustration. It does not 
mean literally the paschal supper hero — . 
for that had ceased to be observed by 
Christians — nor the Lord's supper par* 
ticularly; but the sense is, ,< As the 
Jews when they celebrated the paschal 
supper, on the slaying and sacrifice of 
the paschal lamb, put away all leaven^- 
as emblematic of sin — so let us, in the 
slaying of our sacrifice, and in all the 
duties, institutions and events conse- 
quent thereon, put away all wickedness 
from our hearts as individuals, and from 
our societies and churches. Let us 
engage in the service of God by putting 
away aU evU.' 1 Not with tht oH 

A. D. 59.} 

CHAl>TE» y. 


and wickedness, but with the 
unleavened bread of sincerity 
and truth. 

leaven. Not under the influence, or in 
the indulgence of the feelings of cor- 
nipt and unrenewed human nature.—^ 
The word kaven ia veiy expreasive of 
that former or old condition, and denotes 
the corrupt and corrupting passions of 
our nature before it is renewed. Y '^^ 
leaven of maiiee. Of unkindnesa and 
evil — which Would diffuse itself, and 
pervade the mass of Uhxistians. The 
word maUce (jLUjUnf) denotes* evil in 
general, t -^^ wickedness. Sin ; 
evil. There is a particular reference 
here to the case of the incestuous per- 
son. Paul means that aU wickedness 
should be put away from those who had 
been saved by the sacrifice of their 
Passover, Christ; and, therefore, this 
sin in a special manner. ^ But with 
the unleavened bread, &c. That is, 
with sincerity and truth. Let us be 
dttcere, and true, and faithful; as the 
Jews partook of bread unleavened, 
which was emblematic of purity, so let 
fxs be sincere and true. It is implied 
here that this could not be done unless 
they would put away the incestuous 
person. — Jfo ChriBtians can have, or 
give evidence of rincerity, who are not 
willing to put away all sin. 

9. Ivjrote unto you, I have writ- 
ten (Vs*^*)* "^^ '''^^ °^y cither 
refer to this epistle, or to some former 
epistle. It nmply denotes that he Jmd 
written to them, but whether in the 
former part of this, or in some former 
epistle which is now lost, cannot be 
determined by the use of this word. 
^Ihan epistte Qn *r$ tmff*roK0, There 
has been considerable diversity of opi- 
nion in regard to this expression. A 
largo number of commentators — as 
Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, 
most of the Latin commentators, and 
nearly all the Butch commentators — 
aofpooe that this refers to the same 
epstle, and that the apostle means to 
say that in the fomier part of this epis- 

9 I wrote unto you i^ an 
epistle ' not to company with 
fornicators : 

a Epfa.5.1I. 2TheflB.3.14L 

Ue (ver. 2) he had given them this 
direction. And in support of this in- 
terpretation they say that t0 here is 
used for raun$t and appeal to the kin- 
dred passages in Rom. xvi. 2. Col. iv. 
6. 1 Thess. V. 27. 2 Thess. Si. 3, 4. 
Many others — as Grotius, Doddridge, 
RosenmUller, &c. — suppose it to refer 
to some other epistle which is now 
lost, and which had been sent to them 
before their messengers had react^ld 
him. This epistle might have been 
very brief, and might have contained 
little more than this direction. — That 
this is the correct opinion, may appear 
from .the following considerations, viz. 
(1.) It is the natural and olvious in- 
terpretation-— one that would strike the 
great mass of ^men. It is just such an 
expression as Paul would have used on 
the supposition that he had written a 
previous epistle.. (2.) It is the very 
expression which he uses in 2 Cor. viL 
8, where he is referring to this epistle 
as one which he had sent to them. (3.) 
It is not true that Paul had in any for- 
mer part of this epistle given this direc- 
tion. He had commanded them to 
remove an incestuous person, and such 
a command might seem to imply that 
thev ought not to keep company with 
such a person ; but it was not a gene* 
ral command not to have intercourse 
with them. (4.) It is altogether pro- 
bable that Paul would write more let- 
ters than we have preserved. We 
have but fourteen of his remaining. 
Yet he laboured many years ; found^ 
many churches ; and had frequent oo» 
casion to write to them. (5.) We 
know that' a number of books have 
been lost which were either inspired or 
which were regarded as of authority 
by inspired, men. Thus the books of 
Jasher, of Iddo ~the seer, &c, are re- 
ferred to in the Old Testament, and 
there is no improbability that similar 
instances may have occuned in regard 



[A. D. 69. 

10 Yet not altogether with 
the fornicators of this world, or 

to the writeTB of the New Testament 
(6.) In ver. 1 1, he expressly makes a 
distinction between the epistle which he 
was then writing and the former one. 
<< But now/' t.e. in this epistle, **l have 

written (t>^4*) ^^ y<*^»" *^ ■? ®*" 
preasion which he would not use if ver. 
9 referred to the same epistle. These 
considerations seem to me to be unan- 
swerable, and to prove that Paul had 
•ent another epistle to them in which 
he had given this direction. (7.) This 
opinion accords with that of a very 
large number of commentators. As 
an instance, Calvin says, ** The epistle 
of which he here sp^s, is not now 
extant Nor is it to be doubted that 
many others have perished; but it is 
sufficient that these survive to us which 
the Lord saw to be needful." If it be 
objected that this may affect the doctrine 
of the inspiration of the New Testa- 
ment, since it is not to be supposed 
that God would suffer the writings of 
inspired men to be lost, we may reply, 
(a) That there is no evidence that these 
writings were inspired. Paul often 
makes a distinction in regard to his 
own words and doctrines, as inspired 
<Hr uninspired (see ch. vii.) ; and the 
same thing may have occuned in his 
writings, (b) This does not affect the 
inspiration of the books which remain, 
even on the supposition that those 
which were lost vrere inspired. It does 
not prove that these are not from God. 
If a man loses a guinea it does not 
piore that those which he has not lost 
aie counterfeit or worthless, (c) If 
inspired, they may have answered the 
purpose which was designed by their 
inspiration — and then have been suffer- 
ed to be lost — as dU inspired books will 
be destroyed at the end of the world. 
{d) It is to be remembered that a large 
part of the diseoursea of the inspired 
apostles, and even the Saviour himself 
(John XXL 25), have been lost And 
why should it be deemed any more 

with the covetous, or extortion- 
ers, or with idolaters ; for then 

wonderful that inspired books should be 
lost, than inspired oral teaching ? Why 
more wonderful that a brief letter of 
Paul should be destroyed than that nu- 
merous discourses of him ** who spake 
■as never man spake," should be lost to 
the world ? (e) We should be thank- 
ful for the books that remain, and we 
may be 'assured that all the truth that 
b needful for our salvation has been 
preserved and is in our hands.^ That 
any inspired books have been preserved 
amidst the efforts which have been 
made to destroy them all, is mote a 
matter of wonder than that a few have 
been lost, and should rather lead us to 
gratitude that we have them than to 
grief that a few, probably relating to 
local and comparatively unimportant 
matters, have been destroyed, t ^<^ 
to company, dec Not to associate 
with. See JSph. v. 11. 2Thess. iii. 
14. This, it seems, was a general 
direction on the subject It referred to 
all who had this character. But the 
direction whidi he noto (ver. 11) pro- 
ceeds to give, relates to a different mat- 
ter—the proper degree of ' intercomae 
with those who were in the church, 

10. Yet not altogether, dec In my 
direction not **to company" with them, 
I did not mean that you should refuse 
cUl kinds of intercoune with them ; that 
you should not treat them with civiUty, 
or be engaged with them in any of the 
transactions of life, or in the ordinary 
intercourse of society between man and 
man, for this would be impossible — ^but 
that you should not so associate with 
them as to be esteemed to belong to 
them, or so as to be corrupted i>y their 
example. Tou are not to make them 
companions and friends. % With the 
fomicaiors. Most heathen were of this . 
description, and particularly at Corinth. 
See Uie Introduction to this e|nsde. 
t Of this world. Of those who are out 
of the church ; or who are not professed 
Christians. ^Qrwiththeeoifdou8»TbB 


GKmrViR V. 


must ye needs go out of the 

aTaricioufl ; thoee greedy of gain. Pro- 
bity his direction in the former epistle 
had been thiat they should avoid them. 
f Or extortioners. Rapacious per* 
flons; greedy, of gain, and oppressing 
the poor, the needy, and the fiitherless, 
to obtain money. ^ Or an idolater* 
All the Corinthians before the gospel 
was preached there worshipped idols. 
Y TTitm must ye needs, dec It would 
he necessary to leave the world. The 
world ia full of such persons. You 
meet then) everywhere. You cannoti 
avoid them in the ordinary transac- 
tions of tife, unless ydu either destroy 
yourselves, or withdraw wholly from 
society. This passage shows, (1.) 
That that society wmJuU of the Vuxajf 
tioos and the covetous, of idolaters 
and extortioners. (Comp. Notes, Rom. 
i) (2.) That it k not right either to 
take our own lives to avoid them, or to 
withdraw from society and become 
monks ; and therefore, that the whole 
monastle system is contrary to Chris- 
tianity; and, (8.) That it is needful 
we should have some intercourse with 
the men of the w<tfld ; and to have 
dealings with them as neighbours, and 
as members of the community. Mow 
far we are to have intercourse with 
them is not settled here. The general 
principles may be, (1.) That it is only 
so &r as is necessary for the purposes 
of good society, or to show kindness to 
them as neighlwurs and as members 
of the community. (^.) We are to 
deal justfy with them in all our trans- 
actions. (3.) We may be connected 
with them in regard to the things 
which Ufe have in common — as public 
improvements, the business of educa- 
tion, dec. (4.) We are to endeavour 
to do them good, and for that purpose 
we are not to shun their society. But, 
(b*y We are not to make them our 
ctfhpanions ; or to assodate with them 
til tiieir widcedness, or as idolaters, or 
covetous, or Itaatious ; we are not to 
be known as partakers with them in | 

11 But now I have written 
unto you not to keep company, 

these things. And for the same reason 
we are not to associate with the gay m 
their gayety ; with the proud in their 
pride ; with the ^foshionable in their 
regard to fiishion ; with the friends of 
the theatre, the ball-room, or the splen> 
did party, in their attachment to these 
amusements. In all these things we 
are to be separate ; and are to be con- 
nected with them only in those things 
which we may have in common with 
them ; and which are not inconsistent 
with the holy rules of the Christian re- 
figion. (6.) We are jiot so to asso^ 
ciato with them as to be corrupted by 
their example ; or so as to be led 6y 
that example to neglect prayer and the 
sanctuary, and the deeds of charity, 
and the c^ort to do good to the souls 
of men. We are to make it a great 
poiut that our piety is not to suffer by 
that intercourse; and we are never 
to do any thing, or conform to any 
custom, or to have any such inter- 
course wiUi them ^as to lessen oui 
gprowth in grace; divert our attention, 
from the humble duties of religion; 'or 
mar our Christian enjoyment. 

1 1. But now. In this epistle. This 
shows that he had written a former let- 
ter. Y I have written to you. Above. 
I have designed to give this injunction 
that you are to be entirely separated 
from one who is a professor of religion 
and who is guilty of these things. 
Y Not to keep company. To be wholly 
separated and withdrawn from su<^ a 
person. Not to associate with him in 
any manner. Y If any man thai is 
called a brother. Any professing Chris- 
tian ; any member of the church, t Be 
a fornicator, dec. Like him who is 
mentioned, ver. 1. ^ Or an idolater. 
This must mean those persons who 
while they professed Christianity still 
attended the idol feasts, and worshipped ^ 
there. Perhaps a few such may have , 
been found who had adopted the Chris- 
tian profession hypocritically. ^ Or a ^ 
rmler, A reproa^ol man ; a man of . 


I. corintAians. 

[A. D. 69; 

if * any man thsA ic( ealled a bro- 
ther be a fornicator, or covetous, 
or an idolater, or a railer, or a 


coarae, harah^ and bitter words;- a man 
whose characteristic it was to abuse 
others; to vilify their character, and 
wound their feelings. It is needless to 
say how much this is contrary to the 
spirit of Christianity, and to the exam- 
ple of the Master, ** who when he was 
ie>nled, reviled not again/' ^ Or a 
drunhard. Perhaps there might have 
been some then in the chorch, as there 
are now, who were addicted to this 
vice. It has been the source of ineal- 
culable evite to the church; and the 
apostle, therefore, solemnly enjoins on 
Christians to have no fellowship with 
a man who is intemperate. ^ With 
tueh an mu no not to eat. To have 
no intercourse or fellowship with him 
of any kind ; not to do any thing that 
wbuld seem to acknowledge hftn as a 
brofher ; willi such an one not even to 
eat at* the same tabl^. A similar course 
is enjoined by John. 2 John 10, 11. 
I%i8 refers to the intercourse of com- 
mon life,* and not particularly to the 
communion. The true Christian was 
wholly to disown such a person, and 
not to' do any thing that would seem 
to imply that he regarded him as a 
Christian brother. It will be seen 
here that the rule v^as much more 
■toict in regard to one who professed 
to be a Christian than to those who 
were known and adcnowledged hea- 
thens. Th» reasons may have been, (1.) 
The ^)ecessity of keeping the church 
pure, and of not' doing any thing that 
would seem to imply that Christians 
were the patrons and friends of the in- 
temperate and the wicked. (2.) In 
respect to the heathen, there could be 
no. danger of its being supposed that 
Christians regarded tbBm as brethren, 
(Or showed to them any more than the 
ordinary civilities of life; but in re- 
gard to those who professed to be Chris- 
tians, but who were drunkaids, or li- 
centious, if a man was on terms of' 

drankard,«r an extortioner ; with 
such an one no not to eat. 

12 For what have I to do to 
judge them dso that are with- 

intimacy with them, it would seem as 
if he acknowledged them as brethren 
and recognised them as Christians. 
(3.) This entire separation and with* 
drawing from aU communion was ne- 
cessary in these times to save the 
church from scandal, and from the in- 
jurious reports which were circulated. 
The •heathen accused Christians of all 
manner of crime and abominations. 
These reports were greatly injurious to 
the church. But it was evident thal^ 
currency and plausibility would 1^- 
given to them if it was known thai 
ChristianB were on terms of intioiaqp 
and good fellowship with heathens and 
intemperate perwns. Hence it became 
necessary to withdraw whoUy from 
them; to withhold even the ordinary 
courtesies of life ; and to draw a line 
of total and entire separation. Whe- 
ther this rule in its utmost strictnesi is . 
demanded now, since the nature of 
Christianity is known, and since refr 
gion cannot be in so much danger from 
such repbrts, may be made a question. 
I am indined to the opinion that the 
ordinary ctvilittes of life may be shown 
to such persons ; though certainly 
nothing that would seem to recegniae 
them as Christians. But as neigiu 
hours and relatives ; as those who magr 
be in distress and want, we are assuredly 
not forbidden to show towards them 
the ofBees of kindness and compassion. 
Whitby and some others, however, un- 
derstand this of the communion of the 
Lord^s supper, and of that only. 

12. For what have I to do. See. I 
have no authority over them ; and can 
exercise no jurisdiction over them. All 
my rules, therefore, must have refer- 
ence only to those who are within the 
church, t ^ j^Jtdge, To pass sen- 
tence upon ; to condemn ; or to punish. 
As a Christian aposde I have no juris- 
diction over them. Y Them alto that 
ar€uMmtL Without the pale of the 


4- 9-^.1 

cmjerm v. 


1^! " do not je jmilg^ them that Go4 judge^- ThereiSone put 
are within?, away -iiom aAoair yoiui^vit 

13 But ihem that are without 

a Mark 4.11. 

Ghrisdan church; heathens; men of 
the world ; those who did not profess 
to be Christians. 5 Do not ye judge, 
dec Is not your jurisdiction as Chns- 
tians confined to &ose who are tvithin 
the church, and professed members of 
iti Ought you not to exercise disci- 
pline tiiere, and inflict punishment on 
itir unworfliy members 1 Do you not 
in fiict thus exercise discipline, and 
fleparate from your society unworthy 
persons — ^and ought it not to be done 
m Ihis instance, and in reference to the 
cAender in yourdiurch 1 

13. But them, Sec They who are 
unconnected with the church are under 
the £rect and peculiar government of 
God. They are indeed sinners, and they 
deserve phnishment for their crimes. 
But it 18 not ours to pronounce sen- 
tence upon them, or to inflict punish- 
ment. God will do that Our pro- 
vince is in regard to the church. We 
are to judge these; and tiiese alone. 
All others we are to leav^ entirely in 
the hands of God. 5 TTierefore, Gr. 
And (»t}). ' Since it is yours to judge 
the members of your own sodety, do 
you exercise discipline on the offender, 
and put him away.' % Put away 
from among yoursehes. Excommu- 
nicate him ; expel him from~ your 
sodety. Tnis is the utmost power 
whidi the ehuich has; and thu the 
drarch Is hound to exercise on all those 
Who have openly offisnded agaiflst the 
laws of Jesus Christ 


Ist A public rumour with regard 
to the existence of an offence in the 
ehuieh should lead to discipline. This 
k due to the church itself that it may 
be pure and uninjured ; to the cause, 
lihat' refigion may not suffer by the of- 
fence; and to the individual, that he 
may have justice done him, and his 
i^iazacter vindicated if -he is unjust^ 
accused; or that tf guilty he may be 

away " trom among yoiua^r^ 
that wicked person. 


reclaimed and reformed. -— Oflfonoes 
should not be dtlowed to grow until 
they become scandalous; but when 
they do, every consideration demands 
that tile matter should be investigated, 
ver, 1. 

2d. Men are often filled with piide 
when they have least occasion for it 
v^r. 2. This is the case with indivi- 
duals — who are often elated when their 
hearts are full of sin — ^when they arc 
indulging in iniquity ; and it is true of 
churches also, that they are most proud 
when the reins of discipline are relas* 
ed, and their members are cold iQ the 
service of Crod, or when they are evoQ 
living so as to bring scandal and d]»- 
grace on the gospel. 

8d. We see in what way the Chris- 
tian church should proceed in adminis- 
tering "disdplihe. ver. 2. It should not 
be with harshness, bitterness, revenge, 
or persecution. It should be witll 
moumme that there is necessity for it; 
with tememess toward the ofienderi 
with de^ grief that the cause of reli- 
gion has been injured ; and with swih 
grief at tiie existence of the offence as 
to lead them to prompt and decided 
measures to remove it 

4th. The exercise of discipline belongs 
to the church itself, ver. 4. The churdi 
at Corinth was to be assembled with 
reference to tiiis oi^ce, and was to 
remove the offender. Even Paul, an 
apostle, and the spiritual Either of tiie 
church, did not claim the authority ta 
remove an offender except through the 
church. The church was to take up 
the case ; to act on it ; to pass the sen- 
tence; to excommunicate the man. 
There could scarcely be a stronger proof 
that the po^er of disdpline is in the 
church, and is not to be exercised by 
any independent individual, or b<^y of 
men, foreign to the church, or claiming 
an independent right of disdpUne. If 
Fittf/ would not presume to ezerdsa 



[A. D. 59. 

Midh 'diflciplhie independently of tiie 
«ii«tcl|, asBQiedly no minister, and no 
body of miniBten have any such right 
no\f. Either by themselves in a col- 
lective congregational capacity, or 
through their representatives in a body 
of elders, or in a committee appointed 
by them; every church is itself to 
orig^te, and execute all the acts of 
Christian discipline over its members. 

5th. We see the object of Christian 
discipline, ver. 5. It is not revenge, 
hatred, malice, or the mere exercise of 
power that is to lead to it ; it is /Ae 
good of the individual that is to be 
pursued and sought While the church 
endeavours to remain pure, its aim and 
object should be mainly to correct and 
reform the offender, that his spirit may 
be saved. When discipline is under- 
taken from any other motive than this ; 
when it is pursued from private pique, 
or rivalship, or ambition, or the love of 
power ; when k seeliis to overthrow the 
influence or standing of another, it is 
wrong. The salvation of the offender 
tod the glory of God should prompt to 
dll the measuite which should be taken 
in the case. 

'- 6th. We see the danger of indulging 
in any sin — ^both in reference to our- 
selves as individuals, or to the church, 
ver. 6. The smallest sin indulged in 
will spread pollution through the whole 
body, as a Uttle leaven will efiect the 
largest mass. 

7th« Christians should be pure. ver. 
7, 8. Their Saviour — their paschal 
Iamb, was pure ; and he died that they 
might be pure. He gave hunself that 
his people might be holy ; and by all 
the purity of his character ; by all the 
labours and self-denials of his life ; by 
.all his sufferings and groans in our be- 
half, are we called on to be holy. 

8th. We are here presented with di- 
rections in regard to our intercourse 
with those who are not members of 
the church, ver. 10. There is nothing 
that is more difficult to be under- 
stood than the duty of Christians re- 
specting such intercourse. Christians 
often feel that they are in danger 
horn it, and are disposed to wtUi- 

draw almost entirely from the world. 
And they adc with deep solicitqde 
often, what course diey are to pursue 1 
Where shall the line be drawn ? How 
far shall they gol And where shall 
they deem the intercourse with the 
world unlawAil or dangerous ? — ^A few 
remarks here as rules may aid us in 
answering these questions. 

(1.) Christians are not wholly to 
witiidraw from intercourse with the 
people of this world. This was the 
error of the monastic system, and this 
error has been the occasion of innu- 
merable corruptions and abominations 
in the papal church.r— They are not to 
do this because, 

(a) It is impossible. Th^ must 
needs then, says Paul^ go out of the 

ifi) Because religi<Mi is not to be 
regarded as dissocial, and gloomy, and 

(c) Because they have many inte- 
rests in common with those who aro 
unconnected with the church, and they 
are not to abandon them. The inte- 
rests of justice, and liberty, and science^ 
and morals, and public improvements^ 
and education, are all interests in which 
they share in common with others. 

{d) Many of their best friends— -a 
&ther, a mother, a scm, a daughter, may 
be out of the churclv and religion doee 
not aeoer those ties, but binds them 
more tenderly and closely. 

(e) Christians are inevitably cou* 
nected in commercial dealings with 
those who are not members of the 
church ; and to cease to have any con- 
nexion with them would be to destroy 
their own business, and to throw them* 
selves out of employment, and to break 
up society. 

( n It would prevent the possibility 
of domg much good either to the b«h 
dies or the souls of men. The poor, 
the needy, and the afflbted are, many 
of them, out of the church, and they 
have a claim on the friends of Christ 
and on their active beneficence. 

{g) I^ would break up and destroy 
ibe cnurch altogether. Its numbeni 
are to be incrrased and replenished 

« *■ 

Ai D. 59.] 




DARE any of you, having 
a matter against anotlter, 

firom age to age by the efforts of Chris- 
tians; and this demands that Chris- 
tians shoirid have some interoourse with 
the men of the world whom they hope 
to benefit. 

(h) An effort to Withdraw wholly 
from the world injures religion. It 
conveys the impression that religion is 
morose, setere, misanthropic ; and all 
such impressions do immense injury to 
the cause of God and truth. 

(3.) The principles on which Chris- 
tians should regulate their intercourse 
with the wOTid, are these : 

(a) They are not to be confotaied 
to the world ; they are not to do any 
thing that shall countenance the views, 
feelings, principles of the world as 
such, or as distinguished from religion. 
They are not to do any thing diat 
would i^ow that they approve of the 
.peculiar fashions, amusements, opi- 
nions of the people of the world; or 
to leave the impression that they be- 
long to the world. 

{b) They are do justice and right- 
eousness to every man, whatever may 
be his rank, character, or views. They 
are not to do any thing that will be 
calculated to give an unfiivourable v^ew 
.of the religion which they profess to 
the men of ih» world. 

(c) They are to discharge with fide- 
lity dl 4he duties of a father, husband, 
son, brother, friend, bene&ctor, or re- 

' cipient of &vours, towards those who 
are out of the church ; or with whom 
they may be connected. 

(d) They are to do good to all men 
—to the poor, the afiiicted, the needy, 
the widow, the fiitherless. 

(e) They are to endeavour so to 
live and act — so to converse, and so to 
form their plans as to promote the sal- 
vation of ail others. They are to seek 
their spiritual welfare; and to endea- 
vour by examnle, and by conversation ; 
by ezhoTtation and by all the means in 
timr power touring them to the know- 


go to law before the unjust, and 
not before the saints ? 

ledge of Christ For this purpose they 
are kept on die earth instead of being 
removed to heaven ; and to this object 
they should devote their lives. 

9th. We see from this chapter who 
are not to be regarded as Christians, 
whatever may be their professions, ve/. 
11. A man who is, (1.) a fornicator; 
or, (2.) coTSTouft; or, (3.) an idolfr* 
ter ; or, (4.) a rmlerf or, (6.) a drunk- 
ard ; or, (6.) an extortioner, is -not to 
be owned as a Christian brother. Paul 
has placed the covetous man, and the 
railer, and extortioners, in most un- 
desirable company. They are ranked 
with fornicators and drunkards. And 
yet how many such persons there are 
in the Christian church — Bx^d many, too, 
who would regard it as a special insuU 
to be ranked with a diunkard or on 
adulterer. But in the eye of Go^ both 
are alike unfit for his kingdom, and 
are to be regarded as having no claims 
to the character of Chiistians. 

10th. God will judge the world, ver. 
12, 13. The worid that is without the 
church — ^the mass of men that make 
no profession of piety,, must give an 
account to Grod. They are travelling 
to his bar ; and judgment in regard to^ 
them is taken into God's own haiid% 
and he will- pronounce their doom. 
It is a solemn thing to he judged by a 
holy God ; and they who have no evi- 
dence that they are Christians, should 
tremble at the prospect of being soon 
arraigned at his bar. 


Tub main design of this chapter is to 
repove the Corinthians for the practice 
of going to law before heathen courts, 
or ' magistrates, instead of settting 
their difierences among themselves. It 
seems that after thdr conversion they 
were still in the habit of carrying their ^ 
causes before iieathen tribunals, and 
this the apostle regarded as contrary to 
the genius and spirit of the Christian 
religion, and as tending to expose mli* 



[A. D. 59. 

2 Do ye not know that the 

gion to contempt in the eyes of the men 
of the \rorld. He, therefore, (ver.l-^,) 
reproves this practice, and shows them 
that their differences should be settled 
among themselves. It seems also that the 
spirit of litigation and of covetousness 
liad led them in some instances to prac- 
tice fraud and oppression ofetoh other, 
and he, therefore, takes occasion (ver. 
8 — in to show that this was wholly 
inconsistent with the hope of heaven 
and the nature of Christianity. 

It would seem, also, that some at 
Corinth had not only indulged in these 
and kindred vices, but had actually de- 
fended them. This was done by plau- 
sible, but sophistical arguments, drawn 
from the strong passions of men ; from 
tile fact that die body was made for 
eating and drinking, &x. To these ar- 
guments the apostle replies in the close 
of the chapter, (ver. 12 — ^20,) and espe- 
dally considers the sin of fornication, 
to which they were particularly exposed 
in Corinth, and shows the heinbusness 
•f it, and its entire repugnance to the 
pure gospel of Christ 

1. Dare any of you. The reasons 
why the apostle introduced this subject 
here may have been, (1.) That he had 
mentioned the subject oijttdging (ch. 
V. 13), find that naturally suggested the 
t0{ac which is here introduced; and, 
(2.) This might have been a prevail- 
ing evil in the church of Coimtfa, and 
demanded correction. The woid dare 
here implies that it was inconsistent 
with religion, and improj^r. ^ Can 
you do it; is it proper or nght; or. do 
you presume so fiur to violate all the 
principles of Christianity as to do it' 
\ Having a matter, A subject of liti- 
gation ; or a suit There may be dif^ 
ferenoes between nsen in regard to pro- 
perty and light, in which there shall be 
no blame on either side. They may 
bodi be desirous of having it equitably 
and amicably adjusted. It is not a 
iSffertncB between men that is in itself 
wrong, but it is the spirit with which 
tlM ^Qfierenee is adhered to, and the 

saints " shall judge the world! 

a I)anJ7.22. Matt.19.28. Jude 14,15. Sev.2a4. 

- — i — — ^ ^^^ ^— 

unwillingness to have justice done that 
is so oflen wrong. \ Against another. 
Another member of the diurch. A 
Christian toother. The apostle here 
directs his reproof against the plaint^f 
as having the choice of the tribunal 
before wtdch he would bring the cause. 
t Before the uf^ust. The heathen 
tribunals; for the word umust here 
evid^itly stands opposed to me saints. 
The\apostle does not mean that they 
were always unjust in their decisional 
or that equity could in no case be 
hoped from tibem, but that they^ were 
classed^ in that division of the woxU 
which was different from the sajnts, 
and' is i^nonymous with unbeKeverSf 
as opposed to believers, t -^^ ^wt 
before the saints. Before Christiaiifl. 
Can you not aettle your difierencM 
among yourselves as Christims, by 
leaving the cause to ydur brethren, aa 
arbitrators, instead of going before heap 
then magistrates 1 The Jews would 
not allow any of their causes to be 
brought before the Gentile 'Courts* 
Their rule was this, « He that tries a 
cause before the judges of the Gentiles^ 
and before their tribunals, aUhou^ 
their judgments are as the judgments 
of the Israelites, so this is an ungodly 
man,*' dec Maimon. Hilch, Senhe* 
drim, ch. xzvL § 7. They even look- 
ed on such an action as as bad as pio- 
faning the name of God. 

2. Doyenotkn&WfScc Hie object 
of tlus verse is evidently to show mat 
Christians were qualified to determine 
controversies which might arise among 
themselves. This the apostle ahowa by 
reminding them that .they shall be en- 
gaged in determining matters of mudi 
more moment than those which ooold 
arise among the members of a cfanrch 
on earth ; and that if qualified for 
that, they must be regarded as qualified 
to express a judgment on the questione 
which might arise among their bra* 
thren in the churches. ^1 The sainU» 
Christians, for the word is evidenlij 
I used in tlw aame aenaa as in v«r. i« 


A,D. 59.3 



and if the world shall be 
judged by you, are ye un- 

*■ II I r III . I I I III 

The apostle says that they knew this, 
a that this was so well established a 
doctrine that none could doubt it. It 
was to be admitted on all hands. 
Y ShaU^'udge the tporlcL A great va- 
riety of mterpretations has been given 
to this passage. Grotius supposes it 
means that they shall be fi^at judged 
by Christ, and then act as izssessora to 
falm In the judgment, or j<Hn with him 
in condemning the wicked ; and he ap- 
peals to Matt zix. 28. Luke xxii. 30, 
where Christ says that they which 
have followed him should ^'aX on 
thrones judging the twelve tribes of Is- 
rael." See Note on Matt. xix. 28. 
Whitby supposes that it means that 
Christians aie to judge or condemn 
the world by their example, or that 
there shall be Christian magistrates, ac- 
cording to the prophecy of Isaiah (xlix. 
S3), and Daniel (viU8).--Rosenmuller 
supposes it means that Christians are 
to judge the errors and sins of men 
pertaining to religion, as in ch. ii. 13. 
16 ; ui4. that they ought to be able, 
tiierelore, to judge the smaller matters 
pertaining to this life. Bloomfield, and 
the Greek fiithers, and commentators, 
suppose that this means, that the saints 
will furnish matter to condemn the 
world ; that is, by their lives and ex' 
ample they shall be the occasion of the 
gtesteT condemnation of the world. 
But to this there are obvious objections. 
(1.) It is an unusual meaning of the 
word judge, (2.) It does not meet 
the case before us. The apostje is evi- 
dently saying that Christians .will oc- 
cupy so high and important a station 
in the work of judging the world that 
they ought to be regarded as qualified 
to exercise judgment on the thiugs per- 
taining to this life ; but the fact that 
their holy lives shall be the occasion of 
the deeper condemnation of the world, 
does not seem to furnish any plain rea- 
son for this. — ^To the opinion, also, of 
IVhitby, liightfoot, Vitringa, jpc that 

worthy to judge the smallest 
matters ? 

it refers to the fiict. that Christians, 
would be magistrates, and govemors, 
&c. according to the predictions of 
Isaiah and Daniel, there are obvious 
objections. (1.) The judgment to 
which . Paul in this verse refers is 
difiEerent £rom that pertaining to things 
of this life (ver. 3), but the judgment 
which t/hristian magistrates would ex- 
ercise, as such would relate to them. 
(2.) It is not easy to see in this in- 
terpretation how, or in what sense, the 
saints shall judge the angels, ver. 3. 
The common interpretation, that of 
Grotius, Beza, Calvin, Doddridge, &c 
is that it refers to the future judgment, 
and that Christians will in that day be 
employed in some manner in judging 
the world. That this is the true inter- 
pretation, is apparent for the follow- 
ing reasons. (1.) It is the obvious in- 
terpretation — ^that which will strike the 
great mass of men, and is likely, there- 
fore, \g> be the true one. (2.) It ac- 
cords with the account in Matt. xix. 
28, and Luke xxii. 30. (3.) It is the 
only one which gives a fair interpreta^ 
tion to the declaration that the saints 
should judge angels in ver. 3. If asked 
in what way this is to be done, it may 
be answered that it may be meant sim- 
ply that Christians shall be exalted 
to the right hand of the Judge, and 
shall encompass his throne ; that they 
shall assent to, and approve of hb 
judgment, that they shall be elevated 
to a post of honour and favour, as iv 
they were associated with him in the 
judgment They shall then be regard- 
ed as his friends, and express their ap- 
probation, and that with a deep sense 
of its justice, of the condemnation of 
the wicked. Perhaps the idea is, not 
that they shall pronounce sentence, 
which will be done by the Lord Jesus, 
but that they shall then be qualified to 
see the justice of the condemnation 
which shall be passed on the wicked; 
they shall have a dear and distinct- 



[A.D. 69* 

3 Know ye not that we sball 
judge angels ? how much more 

fiew of the ^ase ; they shall even 
see the propriety of their everlasting 
punishment, and shall not only ap- 
prove it, but be qualified to enter into 
the subject, and to pronounce upon nt 
intelligently. And the argument of 
the apostle is, that if they would be 
qualified to pronounce on the eternal 
doom of men and angels ; if tiiey had 
such views of justice and right, and 
such integrity as to form an opinion 
and express it in regard to the everlast- 
ing destiny of an immense-host of im- 
mortal beings, assuxedly they ought to 
be qualified to express their sense of 
the smaller transactions in this li£9, and 
pronounce an opinion between man 
and man. t -^^ y^ unworthy. Are 
you disqualified. Y TTie smduest mat- 
iers. Matters of least consequence — 
matters of little moment, scarcely worth 
naming compared with the great and 
important realities of eternity*^ The 
'* smallest matters'' here mean, the 
causes, suits, and litigations relating to 
property, &c. 

3, Sfudi judge angeb. All the an- 
gels that shall be judged, good or bad. 
Probably the reference is to fallen an- 
gels, as there is no account that holy 
angels will then undergo a trial. The 
sense is, * Christians will be qualified to 
see the justice of even the sentence 
which is pronounced on fallen angels. 
They will be able so to embrace and 
comprehend the nature of law, and the 
interests of justice, as to see the propri- 
ety of their condemnation. And if they 
can 80 far enter into these important and 
eternal relations, assuredly they ought 
to be regarded as qualified to discern the 
nature of justice among men^ and to 
settle the unimportant dmerences which 
may arise in the church.' Or, perhaps, 
this may mean that the saints shall in 
the future world be raised to a rank in 
some respects more elevated than even 
the angels in heaven. (Pro£ Stuart) 
In what respects they wiU be thus ele- 
irmtad, if this is the^tme interpretatioD, 

things that pe^tam to this life ? 
4 If then ye have judgments 

can be only « matter of conjecture. It 
may be supposed that it will be because 
they have been fiivoured by being in- 
terested in t&e plan of salvation — a 
plan that has done so much to honour 
God ; and that to have been thus saved 
by the immediate and painful inter- 
vention of the Son of uod, will be a 
higher honour than all the privileges 
which beings can enjoy who are inno- 
cent themselves. 

4. Ye have Judgments. Causes; 
controversies; suits, t Things per^ 
tdining to this life. Property, dec 
t Set them to juaee, &c. The verb 
translated set (jtod-i^en) may be either 
in the imperative mood, as in our 
translation, and then it will imply a 
command ; or it may be regarded as in 
the indicative, and to be rendered inter- 
rogatively, ' Do ye set or appoint them 
to judge who are of little repute for 
their wisdom and equity V i, e, heathen 
magistrates. The latter is probably the 
correct rendering, as according to the 
former no good reason can be given 
why Paul should command them to 
select as judges those who had little re- 
pute for wisdom in the church. Had 
he designed this as a command, he 
would doubtless have directed them to 
choose their most aged, wise and expe- 
rienced men, instead of those "least 
esteemed." It is manifest, therefore^ 
that this is to be read as a question:* 
< Since you are abundantly qualified 
yourselves to settle your bwn differ- 
ences, do you employ the heathen 
magistrates, in whom the church can 
have little confidence for their integrity 
and justice V It is designed, therefore^ 
as a severe reproof for what they had 
been accustomed to do ; and an implied 
injunction that they should do it no 
more, t ^^^ or^ ^<^t esteemed 
(«|svdim]ulyov(). Who are contemned, 
or regarded as of no value or worth ; ia 
whose judgment and integrity you c^ 
have little or no confidence. Accord* 
ing to the interpretation given above of 

A. D. 59.] 



of thing* pertaining to this life, 
set them to jadge who are least 
esteemed in the church. 

5 I speak to your shame. Is 
it so» that there is not a wise 
man among you? no, not one 

1^ — • I — -^ 

Hba previous part of t^e verse this re- 
fers to the. heathen magistrates — ^to men 
m whose virtue, piety and qualifications 
for just judgment Christians could (lave 
little confidence ; and whose judgment 
mtut be regarded as in fact of very little 
▼alue, and as very little likely to be 
Qorrect. That the heathen magistrates 
were in general very corrupt there can 
be no doubt Many of them were men 
of abandoned character, of dissipated 
lives, men who were easily bribed, and 
Bien, therefore, in whose judgment 
Christians could repose little confi- 
dence. Paul reproves the Corinthians 
lor going before them with their dis- 
putes when they cotild better settle 
them themselves. Others, however, 
ivho regard this whole passage as an 
ingtructUm to Christians to appoint 
those to determine their controversies 
who were least esteemed, suppose that 
this refers to the lowest orders of judges 
among the Hebrews; to those who 
w^re least esteemed, or who were 
almost despised ; and that Paul directs 
them to select even them in preference 
to the heathen magistrates. See Light- 
|(Kit Bat the objection to this is ob- 
^o«is and insuperable. Paul would 
not have recommended this class of 
men to decide their causes, but would 
have recommended the selection of the 
most wise and virtuous among them. 
-This is proved by ver. 6, where, in di- 
i«oting Uiem to settle their matters 
among themselves, he asks whether 
theie is not a ^^vaise man" among 
timn, clearly proving that he wished 
their diflicalties adjusted, not by the 
most obscure and the least respected 
members of the church, but by the 
most wise and intelligent members. 
^ In the church. By the church. That 
i% the heathen magistrates evince such 


that shall be able to judge *be* 
tween his brethren ? 

6 But brother goeth to law 
with brother, and that before the 

7 Now therefore there is ut* 

a character as not to be worthy of the 
confidence of the church in settling 
matters of controversy. 

5. I speak to your ahame. I declare 
that which is a reproach to you, that 
your matters of dispute are carried be- 
fore heathen tribunals. ^ Is it so, 6cc 
Can it be thtft in the Christian church— 
the church collected in refined and en- 
lightened Corinth — there is not a single 
member so wise, intelligent and'prudent 
that his brethren may have confidence 
in him, and refer their causes to him t 
Can this be the case in a church that 
boasts so much of its wisdom, and that 
prides itself so much in the number and 
qualifications of its intelligent members 1 

6. But brother, &e. One Christian 
goes to law with another. This is de- 
signed as a reproof. This was wrong, ' 
(1.) Because they ought rather to take 
wrong and suffer themselves to be in- 
jured (ver. 7); (2.) Because they 
might have chosen some persons to set- 
tle the matter by arbitration without a 
formal trial ; and, (3.) Because, the civil 
constitution would have allowed them 
to have settled all their differences with- 
out a law-suit Josephus says that the 
Romans (who were now masters of 
Corinth) permitt^ the Jews in foreign 
countries to decide private af&irs, where 
nothing capital was in question, among 
themselves. And Dr. La'rdner observes, 
that the Christians might have availed 
themselves of this permission to have 
settled their disputes in the same man- 
ner. Credibility, vol. i. p. 165*. 

7. There is utterly a fault. There 
is altogether a fault; or you are en- 
tirely wrong in this thing. ^ That ye 
go to law, Sec That is, in. the sense 
under discussion, or before heathen 
magistrates. This was the point under 
discussion, and the interpretation should 



[A. D. 59« 

te^l^ a fault among you, because 
' ye go to law one with another. 
Why do ye not rather take • 

]IUtt.&a^40. Bom.12.17,19. 

a Prov.20J22. 

be limited to thuk Whatever may be 
tte propriety or impropriety of going to 
law before Christian magiatratee, yet the 
point which the apostle refers to was 
that of going to law before heathens. 
The passage, therefore, should not be 
intexpreted as referring to all litigation, 
but only of that which was the subject 
of discussion. The apostle says that 
that was wholly wrong ;^that they 
DUght by no means to go with their 
oauses against their fellow Christians 
before heathen magistrates; thattc;Ao- 
eoer had the right aide of the question, 
and whaiever might be the decision, the 
iking tfoej^ was unchristian and wrong; 
and that lather than dishonour religion 
by a trial or suit of this kind they ought 
to be willing to take wrong, and to suf- 
fer any personal and private injustice. 
The argument is, that greater evil would 
be done to the cause of Christ by the 
&ct of Christians appearing before a 
heathen tribunal with their disputes 
than could result to either party from 
the injury done by the others — ^And this 
is probably always the case; so that 
although the apostle refers here to 
heathen tribunals, the same reason- 
ing, on the principle, would apply to 
Christians carrying their causes into 

the courts at all. t ^% ^ y^ ^^ 
raiher take vorong? Why do you 
Bot 8u£fer yourself to be injured raUier 
than to dishonour the cause of religion 
by your litigationa 1 They thould do 
this, (1.) Because religion requires its 
friends to be willing to suffer wrong 
patiently. Prov. xx. 23. Matt. ▼. 39, 
40. Rom. ziL 17. 19. 1 Thess. ▼. 15. 
(2.) because great injury results to 
tile causa of religion from such trials. 
The private wrong which an indivi- 
dual would mSaXt in perhaps all cases, 
would be a less evil on the whole 
than the pubUe injury which is done 
to the cause of piety by the litigations 

wrong? why do ye not rather 
suffer yourselves to be defraud* 

b lThess.4.6. 

and strifes of Christian brethren be^re 
a civil court. (3.) The difSsrencea 
among Christians could be adjusted 
among themselves, by a reference to 
their brethren. In ninety-nine cases of 
a hundred, the decision would be more 
hkely to be just and satisfectory to all 
parties from an amicable referenoe, 
than from the decisions of a civil court 
In the very few cases where it would 
be otherwise, it would be better for the 
individual to suffer, than for the cause 
of religion to suffer. Christians ought 
to love the catfse of their Master mors 
than their own individual interest 
They ought to be more afraid that the 
cause of Jesus Christ would be injured 
than that they should be a few dollsn 
poorer from the* conduct of others, or 
than that they should in^vidually su& 
fer in their character from the injustice 
of others. 1 To ^ defrauded? Re- 
ceive injury; or suffer a loss of pr<^ 
perty. Grotius thinks that the word 
*' take wrong'* refers to personal insult ; 
and the word ** defrauded" refers to in- 
jury in property. Together, they are 
probably designed to refer to all kinda 
of injury and injustice. And the apos- 
tle means to say, that they had better 
submit to any kind of injustice thaa 
carry the cause against a Christian 
brother before a headien tribunal. The 
doctrine here teught is, that Christians 
ought by no means to go to law with 
each other before a heathen tribunal; 
that they ought to be willing to eafSet 
any injury from a Christian brother 
rather fiian do it And by impUeaHon 
the same diing is taught in regard to 
the duty of all Christians, that they 
ought to suffer any injury to thetr 
persons and froperty rather than dh' 
tumour reUgum by litigations before 
civil magistrates. It may be asind 
then whether law suite are never proper ; 
or whether courts of justice are neset 

A. D. 59.] 

8 Nay, ye do wrong, and de- 
fraud, and that your brethren. 

to be resorted to by Christians to secure 
their rights 1 To this questioo we 
may reply, that the discussion of Paul 
relates only to Christians, when both 
partieff are Christians, and that it is 
designed to prohibit such an appeal to 
courts by them* If etfer lawful for 
Christians to depart from this rule, or 
for Christians to appear before a civil 
tribunal, it is conceived that it can be 
only in circumstances lil(e the follow- 
ing. (1.) Where two or more Chris- 
tians may have a difference, and where 
fhey know not what is right, and what 
the law is in a case. In such instances 
there may be a reference to a civil court 
to determine it — to have what is called 
an amuxibk suit, to ascertain from the 
proper authority what the law is, and 
what is justice in the case. (2.) When 
fb»re are causes of difference between 
Christiansimd the men of the world. As 
the men of the world do not acknow- 
ledge the propriety of submitting the 
matter to thb church, it may be pro- 
per for a Christian to carry the matter 
befoito a civil tribunal. Evidently, 
there is no other way, in such cases, 
of settling a cau^e ; and this mode 
may be resorted to not With a spirit 
of revenge, but with a spirit of love 
and kindness. Courts are instituted 
for the settlement of the rights of 
dtizens, and men by becoming Chris- 
tians do not alienate their rights as 
citizens. Even these cases, however, 
might commonly be adjusted by a re- 
ference to impartial ^en, better than by 
the slow, and expensive, and tedious, 
and often irritating process of carrying a 
cause through the courts. (3.) Where 
a Christian is injured in his person, 
character, or property, he has a right 
to seek redress. Courts are instituted 
for the protection and defence of the 
innocent and the peaceable against the 
fraudulent, the wicked, and the violent 
And a Christian owes it to his country, 
to his family, and to himself, Ithat the 
man who has injured him should ie» 



9 Know ye not that the tm- 
righteons shall not inherit the 

ceive the proper pnoiahment Th« 
peace and wel&re of the commonity 
demand it If a man murders my wtia 
or child, I owe it to the lawa uid to 
my country, to justice and to God, tof 
endeavour to have the law eofbreed. 
8o if a num robs ray property, or in- 
jures my character, I may owe it to 
others as well as to myself that the law Ui 
such a case should be executed, and te 
rights of others also be secured. But ia 
all these cases, a Christian should en- 
gage in such prosecutions not with a 
desire of revenge, not with the love of 
litigation, but with the love of justice^ 
and of God, and with a mild, tender, 
caiidid and forgiving ten^r, with a real 
desire that the opponent may be bene* 
fited, and that all his rights also should 
be secured. Comp. Notes on Bom. xiiL 

8. Nay, ye do lorong, dec. Instead 
of enduring wrong patiently and cheep* 
folly, they were themselves guilty of 
injustice and fraud. t -^^ ^^ 
your bret?ireiu Your fellow Chr]»* 
tians. As if they had injured those of 
their own femily-^those to whom they 
ought to be attaohed by most ten* 
der ties. The oflbnce in such cases ht 
aggravated, not because it is in itself 
any worse to injure a Christian than 
another man, but because it shows a 
deeper depravity, when a man ovet^ 
comes all the ties of kindness and love, 
and injures those who are near to him, 
than it does where no such ties exist 
It is for this reason that parridda, in- 
fanticide, dec are regarded everywhere 
as crimes of peculiar atrocity, because 
a child or a parent must have sundered 
all the tenderest cords of virtue before 
it could be done. 

9. Know ye not, dec The apostle 
introduces the declaration in this verse 
to show the etdl of their coune, and 
especially of the injustice which they 
did one to another, and their attempt to 
enforce and maintain the evil by an 
appeal to the heathen tribunals. He 
aasuree them, thev^bie, that the unjust 



kingdom of God ? Be not de- 
ceived ; neither " fornicators, nor 
idolaters, nor adulterers, nor ef- 

— " - ' ■ ■■* — - 

aoold not be Mved. t 7%e unright" 
iou», Thie uniust QiSoM) — mch as be 
luid joflt mentioned — they who did in^ 
fiuHee to others, and attempted to do 
It' wider the sanction of the courts, 
f ^taU not inherit. Shall not pos- 
sess ; shall not enter into. The king- 
dom of heaven is often i^resented as 
•a. inheritance. Matt ziz. 29; xxr. 
84. Mark z. 17. Lake x. 25; XTiii. 18. 
I Cor. XV. 50. Eph. L 11. 14; ▼. 5. 
t 3%e kingdom of God. Cannot be 
Bvred i_ cannot enter into heaven. See 
Note, Matt iii. 2. This may refer 
either to the kingdom of God m hea- 
ven ; or to the church on earth — ^mo«t 
probably the former. But the sense is 
tike same essentially, whichever is 
meant The man who is not lit to enter 
into the one is not fit to enter into the 
other. The man who is fit to enter the 
kingdom of God on earth, shall also 
enter into that in heaven. Y Be not 
deceived. A most important direction 
to be given to all. It implies, (1.) 
That they were in dangerof being de- 
ceived, (a) Their own hearta might 
have deceived them, (b) They might 
be deceived by their fiUse opinions on 
these subjects, (c) They might be in 
danger being deceived by their leqdera, 
who perhaps held the opinion that 
some of the persons who practised these 
things could be saved. (2.) It implies, 
that there was no necessity of their 
being deceived. They might know the 
truth. They might easily underatand 
these matters. It might be plain to 
them that those who indidged in these 
things could not be saved. (3.) It 
implies that ilr was of high importanee 
that they should not be deceived. For, 
(o) The soul is of infinite value, (h) 
To lose heaven— -to be ^Ueappointed in 
regard to that, will be a tremendous 
loss.' (c) To inherit hell and its woes 
wtU be a tremendous cmse. O how 

[A. D. 59. 

feminate» nor abusers of them- 
selves with mankind, 

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, 
nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor 

anxious should all be that they be not 
deceived, and that while they hope for 
life, they do not sink down to everlast- 
ing death ! ^ Neither fotnicators. See 
Gal. V. 19—21. £ph. v. 4, 5. Heb. xii 
14 ; xiii 4. Note, Rom. L 29. % Nor 
geminate (jutto^Mct). This word oc* 
curs in Matt, xi 8, and Luke vii. 25, 
where it is applied to clothing, and 
translated " soft raiment ;** ihat is, the . 
light, thin garments worn by the rich, 
and great It occurs nowhere glse in 
the New Testament except here. Ap< 
plied to morals, as it is here, it denotes 
those who give themsdves up to a soft, 
luxurious, and indolent way nf living; 
who make self-indulgence the grand 
object of life ; who can endure no hard- 
ship, and practice no self-denial in the 
cause of duty and of God. The word 
is applied in the classic writers to the 
Ciusidi, the Pathics, or Catamites; 
those who are given i^ to wantonness 
and sensual pleasures, or who are kept 
to be prostituted to others. Diog. Laer. 
vii. 5. 4. Xenoph. Mem. iiL 7. 1. Ovid 
Fast iv. 342. The connexion heiQ. 
seems to demand such an interpreta- 
tion, as it occurs in the description of 
vices of the same class'^sensual and 
corrupt indulgences* — ^It is well known 
that ias vice was common among the 
Greeks — and particularly prevail^ at 
Corinth. Y Alnuers ofthemsehea with 
maiikind (dgffvsxom/). Pffideraste oi 
Sod<»nites. Those who indulged in 
a vice. that was common among all the 
heathen. See Notes, Rom. i. 27. 

10. Nor covetotu. See Note, ch. v. 
10. It is remarkable that the apostle 
always ranks the covetous with the most 
abandoned classes of men. ^ Nor r^ 
vikrs. The same word which in ch. 
V. 11, is rendered railer. See Note on 
that place, t ^of extortioners. Note, 
ch.v. 11. ^ Shall inherit. Shall ea^- 
ter ; shall be saved, ver. 9. 

A. D. 59.1 

extortioners, shall inherit thb 
kingdom of God. 

11 And such* were some of 
you ; but ye are washed, * but 

a Eph^I,2; 6^. Coli.7. Tit J.3-6. h Heb., 

11. And such. Such drunkards, 
Itsdvious, and covetous persons. This 
shows, (It) The exceeding grace of 
God that could recover even 9ueh per« 
sons from sins so debasing and degrad- 
ing. (2.) It shows that we ure not to 
despair of redaiming the most aban- 
doned and wretched men. (3.) It is 
well for Christians to look back on 
what they once were. It will produce 
(a) hunflity, Xfi) gratitude, (c) a deep 
sense of the sovereign mercy of God, 
(<?} an earnest desire that others may 
be recovered and saved in like manner. 
Comp. £ph. ii. 1, 2 ; v. 8. Col. iii. 7. 
Tit. iiL 3. 6.— The des^ of this is to 
vemind them of what mey were, and 
(o show them that they were now under 
obligiation to lead better lives— hy all 
file mercy which God had shown in 
recovering them from sins so degrading, 
and from a condition so dreadful, 
t But ye art washed, Heb. z. 22. 
Washing is an emblem of purifying. 
They hi^ been made pure by the Spirit 
«f God. They had been, indeed, bap-' 
tized, and their baptism was an em- 
blem of purifying, but the thing here' 
jBitieuIarly referred to is not baptism, 
but it is something that had been done 
by the Spirit of God, and must refer to 
ms agency on the heart in cleansing 
them from these pollutions. Paul bere ' 
uses three words, washed, saruHfied, 
justified, to denote the various agen- 
cies of the Holy Spirit by which &ey 
bad been recovered from sin. The 
first, that of washing, I understand* of 
that work' of the Spirit by which the 
process of purifying was commenced in 
the soul, and which was especially sig^ 
nified in baptism — the work of rege- 
neration or conversion to Grod. By the 
agency of the Spirit the defilement of 
diese pc^utions had been washed away 
or removed— as filth is removed by ab- [ 




ye are sanctified* *bat ye are jus- 
tified * in the name of the Lord 
Jesus, and by the Spirit of our 

e Heb.3.11. d BomJS^. 

lution. — The agency of the Holy Ghost 
in regeneration is elsewhere repr»> 
sented by washing. Tit iit 6, «The 
washing of regeneration." Comp. 
Heb. X. 22. ^ Ye are saneHJied^ 
This denotes the progressive and ad»^ 
vandng process of purifying which 
succeeds regeneration in the Christian. 
Regeneration is the commencement of 
it — ^its dose is the perfect purity of the 
Christian in heaven. See Note, John 
xviL 17. It does not mean that they 
"wen perfect — ^for the reasoning of the 
apostle shows that this was ftr firom 
being the case with the Corinthians; 
but that the work was advancing, and 
that they were in fact under a process 
of sanctificatton. 1 But ye are justi- 
fied. Your sins are pardoned, and 
you are accepted as righteous, and will 
be treated as such on account of the 
merits of the Lord Jesus Christ See 
Note, Rom. L 17; iit 26,26; iv. 3. 
The aposde does not say that this 
was last in the order of time, but sim- 
ply says that this was done to thenu 
Men are justified toAcn they believe^ 
and when the work of sanctification 
commences in the souL 1 In the 
name of the Lord Jesus. That is, hy 
the Lora Jesus ; by his authority, a|^ 
pointment, influence. Note, Acts iiL 
6, All this had been accomplished 
through the Lord Jesus; that is, im 
his name remission of sins had beeli 
imxdaimed to them (Luke xxiv. 47) ; 
and by his merits all these favours 
had b^n conferred on them. ^ And 
by the Spirit of oUr God. The Holy 
Spirit All this had been accomplish- 
ed by Am agency on the heart— 
This verse brings in the whole subject 
of redemption, and states in a most 
emi^tic manner the various stages 
by which a sinner is saved, and by 
this single pannage, a man may obtaia 



[A.D. 5^, 

12 All things are lawful unto 
me, but all things are not ^ ex- 
pedient: all things are lawful 

> or, prqfUabie, 

aU the essential kaowledge of the 
pfMa of saiv&tion. All ie eondenaed 
here tn jew wonk. (1.) He is bj iia- 
ture a miserable and polluted sinner — 
without merit, and wUhout hope. (2.) 
He is renewed by the Holy Ghost, and 
washed by be^tism. (3.) He is justi- 
fied, pardoned, and accepted as right- 
eous, through the merits of the Lord 
Jesus alone. (4.) He is made holy— r 
becomes sanctified — and more and 
more like God, and fit for heaven. (6.) 
All this is done by the agency of the 
Holy Ghost. (6.) The obUsatim 
thence results that he should tead a 
holy life, and foraal^e sin in every form. 
12. AU things are lawful unto me. 
The apostle here evidently makes a 
transition to another subject from that 
which he had been discussing — a cour 
flideration of the propriety of using 
certain things which had been esteem- 
ed lawjDil. The expression, '* all things 
are lawful," is to be understood as used 
by those who. palliated certain indul- 
gences, or who vindicated the vices 
here referred to, and Paul designs to 
reply to them. His reply follows. 
He had been reproving them for their 
▼ices, and had specified several. It is 
not to be supposed that they would in- 
dulge in them without some show of 
defence ; and the declaration here has 
much the appearance of a proverb, or 
a common saying — that all Uiings were 
lawful; tibat is, *God has formed all 
things for our use, and there can be no 
evil if we use them.' By the phrase 
«all things^ here, perhaps, may be 
meant mani/ things ; or things in ge- 
neral ; or there is nothing in itself un- 
lawful. That there were many vicious 
persons who held this sentiment there 
can be no doubt ; and though it cannot 
be supposed that there were any in the 
Christian church who would openly 
advocate it, yet the design of Paul was 
to aU up the plea altogether ufhemer 

fog^ me, tjjut I will not be 
brought under the power * of 


it might he urged, and to -show that it 
was mlse and unfounded. The parti- 
cular things which Paul here refers to, 
are those which have been called 
adiaphoriaiie, or indifferent ; u e, per-^ 
tainiilg to certain meats and drinks, Slc 
With this Paul connects also the sub- 
ject of fornication — th^ subject parti^ 
cularly under discussion. T%is waa 
defended as *^ lawful," by many Greeks^ 
and was practised at Corinth ; and was 
the vice to which the Corinthian Chris* 
tlans were particularly exposed. Paul 
designed to meet all that could be said 
on this subject ; and to show them that 
these indulgences could not be proper 
for Christians, and could not in afiy 
way be defended. — We are not to un^ 
derstand Paul as admitting that forni- 
cation is in any case lawful ; but ho 
designs to show that the practice can- 
not possibly be defended in any way, 
or by any of the arguments which had 
been or could be used. For this pur" 
pose, he observes, (1.) That admitting 
that all things were lawful, there were 
many things which ought not to be in* 
dulged; (2.) That admitting that they 
were lawful, yet a man ought not to be 
under the power of any improper in« 
dulgence, and should abandon any 
habit when it had the mastery. (3.} 
That fornication was positively wrongs 
and against the very nature and essence 
of Christianity, vcr. 13—20. Tf J2re 
not expedient* This is the first an- 
swer to the objection. Even should 
we admit that die practices under dis- 
cussion are lawful, yet there are many 
things whk;h are not expedient; that 
is, which do not profit, for so the word 
(dt/^^gii) projperly signifies ; they are 
injurious ana hurtfuL They might 
injure the body ; produce scandal ; lead 
others to offend or to sin. Such waa 
the case with regard to the us^ of cer- 
tain meats, and even with regard to ih^ 
use of wine. PauFs rule on this sub- 

A. D. 59.1 



- 13 Meats * for tlie betty, and 
the belly for meats : but God shall 

a Matt.I5.17^ Rom.l4J7. 

jectw stated in 1 Cor, viiL 13. That 
if th«Be things did injury to odieis, he 
woald abandon them for ever; even 
though they were in themselves lawfuL 
See Note en ch. vui. and on Bom. znr. 
14—23. There are many customs 
whidk, perhaps, cannot be strictly 
proved to be unlawful or sinful, whi<^ 
yet do injury in some way if indulged 
in ; and which, as Aeir indulgence can 
do no good, should be abandoned. Any 
thing that does evil — ^however smatt— 
and no good, should be abandoned at 
ance. 5 -^^ things are kavful, Ad- 
niitttng this; or even on the supposi- 
tbn that all thing^ are in themselves 
flight ^ But I wiU not be brought 
under Ae power. I will net be sub-, 
4aed by it; I wilt not become the 
^lave of it. ^ Of any. Of any cus- 
tom, or habit, no matter what it is. 
This was Paul's rale ; the rule of an 
independent mind. The principle was, 
diat even admitting that certain things 
were in themselves right, yet his grand 
purpose was not to be the ekne of 
haUt, not to be subdued by any prao- 
tioe that might corrupt his mind, fetter 
his energies, or destroy his freedom as 
a man and as a Christian. We may. 
observe, (L) That this iaa good rule' 
to act on. It was Paul's rule (1 Cor. 
ix. 37), and it will do as well for us as 
for him. (2.) It is the true rule of an 
independent and noble mind. It re- 
quires a high ovder of virtue ; and is the 
only way in which a man may be use- 
ful and active. (3.) It may be ap- 
plied to many ^nga now. Many 
il Christian and Christian minister 
i$ a slave f and is completely under' 
the power of some Ifabit that destroys 
bis usefulness and happiness. He is 
tfie SLATB of indolence, m carelessness, 
or of some vm uABrr-— as the use of 
tobacco, or of wine. He has not inde> 
pendence enough to break the cords 
that bmd him ; and the consequence is, 
that life is passed in indolence, or in 
self-iadulgence, and time, and strength, i 

destroy both it and tfiem. Now 
the body is not for * fornication, 


and property are wasted, and religion 
blighted, and souls rained. (4.) The 
man that has- not courage and firmnev 
enough to act on this rale should doubt 
his piety. If he is a voluntary slave to 
some idle and mischievous habit, how 
can he be a Christian 1 If he doea 
not love his Saviour and the souls of 
men enough to break off from tueh 
habits which he knows are doing in- 
jury, how is he fit to be a minister of 
the self-denying Redeemer 1 

13. Meats for the beBy, ice. This 
has every ajqiearance of bmng an adage 
or proverb. Its meaning is plain. * God 
has made us with appetites for food; 
and he has' made food adapted to such 
appetites, and it is right, therefore^ 
to indulge in luxurious living.' The 
word beUy iMte (aooJtt) denotes the 
stofnaeh / and the aigument is, that as 
God had created the natural appetite 
for food, and had created food, it was 
right to indulge in eating and drinking 
to any extent which the appetite de* 
manded. The word meats here 0%w- 
fzivra) dees not denote animal food 
particularly, or flesh, but antf kind*oi 
food. This was the sense of Ae Eng- 
lish word formerly. Matt iiL4; vi. 25; 
ix. 10 ; X. 10 ; xiv. 9, dbc Y But God 
^hatt destroy. This is the reply of Paul 
to ihe argument Thb reply is, that as 
both are so soon to be destroyed, th^ 
were unworthy of the care winch was 
bestowed on them, and that itttention 
should be directed to bettor thinga. it 
is unworthy the immortel mind to spend 
ito tifne and thought in making provi 
sion for the body which is soon to 
perish. And especially a man should 
be willing to abandon indulgences in 
these things when thu^y tenM to m- 
jure j&e mind, and to destroy the soul. 
It is unworthy a mind that is to live 
for ever, thus to be anxious about that 
n^uch is so soon to be destroyed in the 
grave. We may observe here, (1.) 
This is the great rule of the mass of 
the w«ld. The pampering ^f ths 


I. coBisrmAss^ 

but for the Lord^ * and the Lord 
* for the body, 

14 And God ' hath both rais- 

aRom.12.1. frEph.6.23. c&oin.64f8. 

appetites is the great^ pnipoie fer whieh 
ti^ey live, and the only purpose. (2.) 
It is folly. The body will soon be in 
the grave ; the soul in eternity. How 
low and grovelling is the passion which 
leads the immortal mind always to 
anxiety about what the body shall eat 
and dnnk ! (3.) Men should act from 
higher motives. They should be thank- 
ful for appetitea for food ; and that God 
provides tot the wants of the body ; and 
should eat to obtain strength to serve 
him, and to discharge the duties of life. 
Man often degrades himself below— fiir 
below— -the brutes in this thing. Tketf 
never pamper thdr appetites, or create 
arttficiat appetites. Man, in death, 
sinks to the same level ; and all the re- 
cord of his life is, that * he lived to eat 
and drink, and died as the brute dieth.' 
How low is human nature fidlen ! How 
sunken is the condition of man ! 5 ^ow 
the body is not, dtc. 'But (i\) the 
body is not designed for ticentiousness, 
but to be devoted to the Lord.' The 
remainder of this chapter is occupied 
with an argument against indulgence 
in licentiousness — a crime to which the 
Corinthians were particularly exposed. 
See the Introduction to this epistie. It 
cannot be supposed that any members 
of the church would indulge in this 
vice, or would vindicate it ; but it was 
certain, (1.) That it was the sin to 
which they were particularly exposed ; 
(2.) That they were in the midst of a 
people who did both practise and vin- 
dicate it Compare Rev. ii. 14, 16. 
Hence the apostle furnished them with 
arguments against it, as well to guard 
them from temptation, to enable them 
to meet those who did defend it, and 
also to settie the morality of the ques- 
tion on an immovable foundation. The 
first argument is here stated, that the 
body of man was designed by its Maker 
to be devoted to him, and should be 
consecrated to the porposea of a pare 

ed ^ up the Lord, and 
also raise up us by his 

[A. D. 59^ 



and holy life. We are, therefore, bound 
to devote our animal as well as oar 
rational powers to the service of the 
Lord alone. 5 -^n^ the Lord far the 
body* * The Lord is in an important 
sense for the body, that is, be acts, and 
plans, and provides for it He sustains 
and keeps it ; and he is making provi- 
sion for its immortal purity and hapia> 
ness in heaven. It is not right, there- 
fore, to take the body, which is nourished 
by the kind and constant agency of a 
holy God, and to devote it to purposes 
of pollution.' That there is a re^enoe 
in this phrase to the resurrection, is 
apparent from the following verse; 
And as God will exert his mighty 
power in raising up the body, and will 
make it glorious, it ought not to be 
prostituted to purposes of licentious- 

14. And God hath both raised up^ ' 
dec. This is the seeond argument 
against indulgences in this sin. It 
is this. ' We are united to Christ 
God has raised him from the dead, and 
made his body glorified. Our bodies 
will be Uke his (comp. PhlL iii. 21) ; 
.and since our body is to be raised up by 
the power of God ; since it is to be per- 
fectly pure and holy, and since this is 
to be done by his agency, it is wrong 
that it should be devoted to purposes of 
pollution and lust* It is unworthy (1.) 
Of our connexion with that pure Saviour 
who has been raised from the d^ — 
the iihage of our resurrection from the 
death and defilements of sin (comp. 
Notes, Rom. vL 1 — 12) ; and (2.) Un- 
worthy of the hope that our foodies 
shall be raised up to perfect and immor- 
tal purity in the heavens. No argu- 
ment could be stronger. A^deep sense 
of our union with a pure and risen 
Saviour, and a lively hope of immortal 
purity, would do more than all other 
things to restrain from licentious indul 

•»* •■ 


jL a 5f.] 



li K]|»w ye moi that your 
bodies are the memben * of 
Christ! shall I then take the 
m^sibejrs €ff Christ, and make 
thwi the members V of an harlot ? 
God forbid ! . 

16 What! know ye not that 

a EplL5.X. 

16, 16. Know yt not, 4&c. Thi9-is 
the ti^rd aiguxneiit skgaiiwt IkenUoiuh 
pfiff. It U, that we m Chcisttftiis aie 
onited to Ghiist (oompb Notes^ John 
XV. 1^ Sic) ; and Uiat it is/abomiaabJB 
to take the memben of Christ and sub* 
jset them to poiiatioa and m* Christ 
waa pore— wholly puie. We aie pfo- 
fB88edly^u]Iited to hun* We .mm bound 
^Mfiefore to be pnre, aa he vaa* 8haH 
that which is a part, as it were, of the 
pwe and hoiy Saviour be peostituled to 
{Dupuie and vinholy embncse 1 t Gad 
forbid/ Note, Rom. iiu 4. This ex- 
pr a n s os the deep abhoir^oe'of the apos- 
tle at the thought It needed not 
argument^ to show it. The whole 
^fpild revolted at the idea; and lanr 
guage could scarcely express the tba- 
mination of the very thought ^ Know 
ye not, dec. This is designed to confirm 
and strengthen what he had just saM- 
f He which is joined. Who is atkuJkd 
to; or who is connected Willi. ^ Jbone 
body. That is, is to be regaided as 
ope; is closely and intimately united. 
fidmUar expressions occur in. Giaasie 
writers. See Grotius and Blodmfield. 
f For tioo, scUth he, dec. This, Paul 
Uhutratea by a reference to the fixmiap' 
tioii of the- marriage connexion in Gren. 
iL 14. He cannot be understood as 
affirming jtfaat that passage had original 
reference to illicit oonnauons ; but he 
uses it forpurposes of illustration. God 
had declared that the man and his wife 
became one; in a similar aense in un- 

hwfol connexions the parties became 


17. But he that isj&inedio the Lord, 
The true Christiao, united l>y £d1h to 
tiie Lord Irnus* : Sea Jehn xv. 1, ae^ 
f i^ one ^rit. That i% in a 


his whkh k joined to an hatfol 
is oae body? for two, *^saith hty 
shall be one flesh. 

17 But be that is joined unto 
the Lord is one ^ spirit. 

18 Flee '' fornication. Every 
sin that a man doeth is without 

b QenJi34. Matt.19^. c Jno.l7^]-^ 

Eph.4.4 dPiov 6.25-32; 7.84-27. ^ 

similar to that in which a num and his 
wife are one body. Itianottobetakaa 
literal^; but the aense is, thai there is 
a close and intimate muon ; they aw 
united ^1 feeling, spirit, intention, die* 
position. The argument is beantiftiL 
It ur, < As the nniim of aools' is moia 
impcMtant than that of bodies ; aa tel 
umoii is more laating, dear, and a»* 
during than ai^ ^nniaa of body wilii 
body can be, and aa bur anion with fate 
ia with a Sfuk pure and hdy, it v» h»« 
proper that we abould mmder Ihat tia^ 
and break tfnt aaend bond, ti^ banig 
joined to a harlot The anion widi 
Chiist ia more inftimate, entire^ and 
pure than that ean be between a aaaa 
and woman ; and thed onion should be 
regarded as sacred and inviolable.' O, 
if all Christians feH and le^oded this 
as they should, how would dwy shrink 
from the oonneziona which tfa»y often 
feim on earth! ChNop. Eph. iv. 4« 

IB,. Fieefamieation. A solemn com* 
mand of Grad— «s explicit aa any Iha* 
thundered fiom Motmt Sinai. Nona 
can disregaid it widi impnnity— nous 
can violate it without being axposed ts 
the awful rrengaance of the Almightyp 
There ia feroe and emphasis in tha 
word Jke (i^tJynt), Man shoukl 
eteape from it; he anoold not atay td 
f«aso»aboatit; to debate the mattert 
or even to eost^eiMlWith l»s propensities^ 
and to try the strength of his virtaob "^ 
There are some ainis which a man can 
reaigts 43ome about which Ee can reasott 
withodt )fahg«r <if poUntion. But tliW 
ia a sin where' a mm is JK^ only wheft 
he.flies ; freeiirom pollirtion only wh^ 
he.nfiiasa.toanlaitalnii'thoaght of it 9 
aaoore wlpan ha «aeka a viemry by i^l^ 
aad>4«bii4ii«tibrtoBtNst. LetattMtt 



[iu D. 5t. 

die body ; but he that "eonimit- 
teth fornication sinneth ag^ainst 
his own body. 

19 What I know ye not that 
your ' body is the temple of the 
Holy Ghost which U in you, 


torn away from it without reflection on 
i^ and he is Be&, Let him think, and 
raaami, and he may be ruined. ^ The 
nwy paflsage of an impure thought 
tiuoug^ the mind leaves pollution be- 
hind it.** An aigument on the subject 
cfien leaves pollution; a descriptiion 
yuins; aad even the pmsentation of 
Bolives may often fix the 
mind with dangeroua inclination on the 
crime. There is noway of aveidtBig 
the pollution but in the manner pie- 
•opibed by Paul ; there le no man sale 
who will not follow his direction. How 
BMny a young man would be aaved 
irom povertft want, disease, cunes, 
teais, and hell, could diese two womi>s 
be made to blaze before him Hke the 
mtaiig before the astonished eyes of 
Belshazzar (Dan. ▼.), and could tiiey 
lerrify him frem even tiie momenUay 
eoatemi^ation of the ^me. 1 Every 
mnf dec This is to be taken comparo' 
Uvely, Sins in general ; the common 
sins which men commit do not imtne- 
Hatefy and directly afiGsct the bocfy, or 
wasl^ its eoeigies, and destroy life, 
dnich is die. case with lUsehodd, theft, 
malice, dishonesty, pride, ambition, dec 
They do not immediately and directly 
impair the constitiitioa and waste Its 
^eigies. Y j& without tke body. Does 
not immedialiely and directly afiect the 
body. The more imrnediate effbct is 
on the mind ; but the sin under isonn- 
^retion producee an immedtote amd 
direct efiect dn the body.its^ ^ iSm- 
neth ingainat kU own body* TkoB is 
i^ fourth argument against indulgence 
m this vice ; and it ie more striking and 
facible. The sense is, < It wastes the 
bodily eneigies ; produces foebleness, 
Wmkness, and diseo^; it inq^aira the 

which yie hare of God, and ye 
are not ^ your own ? 

20 For ye are bought ^ with 
a price :. therefore glorify ^ Qod 
in your body, and in your spiritt 
which are God's. 

b ltom.14.7j8. e AAtsStMS. lFet.1.1849. 

ReT.5.9. d lP6t.2.9. 

ens life.' Were it proper, this might 
be proved to the satisfiiiction of every 
man by an «(aminatiim of the efibets 
of lioentitfus indulgence. Those who 
wish to see the e&cts stated, may find 
them in^ Dr. Rush on Uie Diseases of 
the Mind. Perhaps no single an has 
done so much to produce the most paiii- 
ittl and dreadful diseases, to weaken 
the constitutien, and to duHten life. Hi 
this. Other vices, as gluttony and 
drunkenness, do this also, audi all siii 
has $ome efiect in destroying the'body,^ 
but it is true of this sin in an«inineiit 

19. What /know ye not, 9cc Thu 
is the >{/^A argument agaitiat this siii. 
The Holy Ghost dwells iu ns; our 
bodies are his temples; and they should 
not be defiled and polluted by sin. Note, 
ch. iii. 16, 17. As this Spirit is in un, 
and as it is given us by Ood, we ought 
not to dishonour the gift and the giver by 
pollution and vice. 5 -^^^ y^ ore noi 
your oum. This is the nxth argument 
whidi Paul uses. We are purchased; 
we belong to God ; we are his by ^ 
demption ; by a predous price paid ; and 
we are bound, therefore, to devote oui^ 
selvjBs, body, soul, and spirit, as he 
directs, to the glory of his name, not to 
the gratification of the flesh. SeeNdte^ 
Rom* xiv. 7, 8. 

20. For ye are bought. Ye Chris- 
tians are purehaeedg and by right of 
pnrdiase iMiould therefore be employed 
as he directs. This doctrine is oheo, 
taught in the New Testament, and Che 
argument is often urged thatj therefore. 
Christians should be devoted to God. 
See ch. vii. 23. 1 Pet L 18, 19 ; il 9; 
2Pet; iL 1. Rev. v. 9. See Note oit 
Aels zx. 28. 1 VRih « pnee (rtfiiX). 
Apnct as that utich is paid lor an 

A. 1>. 590 


•itide, and which, in the view of the 
Miller, is a fair compensation, or avaln* 
sUe oonnderation why he should p«rt 
with it; that is, the price paid is as 
▼aluable to him as the thing itself would 
he. It may not be the same thing either 
in quality or quantity, but it is that 
which to him is a sufficient eonsidera- 
tion why he should part with his pro- 
perty« When an article is bought for 
a valuable consideration, it becomes 
wholly the property of the parchasei;, 
He may keep it, direct it, dispose of it- 
Nothing else is to be allowed to control 
it without his consent. — ^The language 
here is figurative.. It does not mean 
^t there was strictly a- eommerciai 
transaction in the redemption of the 
church, a literal quid pro quo, ibr the 
thing spoken of pertains to moral go- 
Temment, and not to commerce. It 
means, (1.) That Christians have been. , 
ledeemed, or recovered to God; (2.y 
That this has been done by a vaiaabk 
connderaHoih or that which, in his 
view, was a fiili equivalent for the suf- 
ferings that they woidd have endured 
if ^tij had su&red the penalty of the 
law'; (3.) That diis valuable oonsidera- 
tion was the blood of Jesus, as an aUm* 
ing sacrifice, an. offering, a ransom, 
which unndd aeeomplish the scone great 
ends m mamtaimiig the truth and 
honour of God, and the mqfesty of his 
kttjo, as the eternal condemnation of the 
sinner woutd have 6ant{ and which, 
th^eibre,' may be called, figuroiiodyt 
the price which was paid. For if the 
same ends of justice could be accom- 
plished by his atonement which would 
have been by the death of the sinner 
himself, then it was consistent ibr Grod 
U> pardon him. (4.) Nothing else 
could or would have done this. There 
was no priee whidi the sinner could 
pay, no atonement which he could 
make ; and, consequently, if Christ had 
not died, the sinner would have been 
Hie slave of sin, and the servant of the 
devil for ever. (5.) As the Christian 
is thus purchased, ransomed, redeemed 
he is' bound to devote himself to God 
only, and to keep his commands, and 
tbfleefhuB a licentious life. ^ Glorify 

€fed. HmMur Ood; five to 
See Note, Matt. v. 16. John zu. S8| 
xvii. 1. 1 in your body, ice. Let 
your entii» person be subservient to thft 
gtory of God. LiviB to him ; let your 
life tend to his honour. No st r on ger 
arguments could lie adduced for purity 
of life, and tliey are such as all Chruh 
tians must fiiet 

1st We see fiom this chapter (v«r* 
1 — 8) the evils of law-suits, and of 
cohtentiona among Christians. Eveiy 
law-suit between Christians is the means 
of greater or less dishonour to the causa 
of rel^:ion; The contention and strife; 
the time lost and the money wasted ; 
the hard feelings engendered, and bitter 
speeches caused; &e ruffled temper^ 
and &e lasting animosities that avi 
produced, always injure the caase of 
religion, and o&ea injuie it for yeanb 
Probably no law-euit was ever engaged 
in by a Christian that did not do somt 
injury to the cause of Christ. Perhaps 
no law-suit was ever conducted between 
Christians that ever dad. any good to that' 
cause of Christ. 

2d. A contentious spirit, a fondness 
for the agitation, the excitement, and 
the strife of courts, is inconsistent with 
the spirit of the gospd. Religion w- 
retiring, peaceful, calm. It seeks the 
peace of all, and it never rgoices in 

3d. Christians should do nothing that- 
will tend to injure the cause of religion 
in the eye of llie world, ver. 7, 8. How 
much better is it that I should loee a 
few dollars, than that my Saviour should 
lose his honour! How much better 
that my purse should be empty of glit« 
tering dust, even by the injustice of 
others, than that a single gem should 
be taken from his diadem ! And how 
much better even that I should lose all^ 
than that my hand should be reached 
out to pluck away one jewel, by m^ 
misconduct, from his crown! Can 
silver, can gold, can diamonds be com- 
pared in value to the honour of Chrtsl^ 
and of his cause 1 

4th. Christians should seldom go t» 
fatw, even with othem; never, if they 


IK D. 5ft 

•Miftvoidit BinnyAermettIs should 
lie tried fint^ end the bw aiioo!d be 
IMKUted to OB^ when all else fidls. How 
ft w lnw-eoitB Uiei« won^ bo if raui liad 
no bod pawone ! How sekloin is the 
liew spplied to hma the simple bve oi 
jQolico; howseMom from pore beneroh 
lence ; bow seldfun^ for the gloiy of 
God ! In nearly aU cases that occur 
between men, ft friendly reference to 
ott^ers would settle all ^ difficulty;. 
always if there were a right spirit be- 
Itroen the parties. Comparatively /^i& 
suits- at law will be approved of, when 
mea come to die; and the man who 
has had tiie least to do with ibe law, 
will have tiie least, usually, to ragnt 
when he enteie the eternal world. 

Gth. Christittis should be honest— 
strictly honest— always honest, ver. 8. 
They should do justioe to all; they 
^Mwld defraud none. *Few1iung»oecBr 
that do more to disgrace religion than 
the suspidoRs oi fraud, and oveireach- 
ixsg, and deception, that often rest en 
tnrdbssonof religion. How can a man 
DO a Christian, «id not be an honest 
man 1 Every man who is not strictly 
honest and honouiidl>le in his dealings, 
should be regarded^ whatever may be 
hb pretensions, as an enemy of Christ 
ttid his cause. 

6th. The unholy cannot be saved. 
Tor. 9, 10. So God. has determined; 
and this purpose cannot be evaded or 
escaped. It is fixed ; and men may 
think of it as they please, still it is true 
that there are large classes of men who, 
if they continue such, cannot inherit 
the kingdom of God. The fornicator, 
the idolater, the drunkard, and the co- 
vetous, caniiot enter heaven* Bo the 
Judge of all has said, and who can unsay 
iti So he has decreed, and who can 
change his fixed decree 1 And so it 
should be; What a place woi^ heaven 
he, if the drunkard, and the adulterer, 
dDd the idolater were there ! How 
impure and unholy would it be f How 
wmild it cfestroy all our hopes, <Mm all 
oar pitspects, mar all our joys, if we 
were told that they should sit down 
witii the just in heaven ! Is it not one 
of our feudMt hM^es that heaven will I 

be pure, and that aU its inhabilBato 
shall be hofy.1 And am God admit to 
hjs etormd embrace, and treat as his 
eternal friend, the man who is unholy ; 
whose Mfo is stained with abomination; 
who loves to corrupt others; and whoso 
happiness is found in the sorrows, and 
the wretchedness, and vices of others I 
No; religion is. pure, and heaven is 
pure; and whatever men may think, 
of one thinjg^ they may be assured, that 
the fornicator, and the drunkard, and the 
re viler fdinU not inherit the kingdom of 
God. » 

7th. If none of these can be saved 
as they aie, what a host *are travelling 
down to hell! How large a part of 
every community is made up of snch 
personal How vast is the number of 
dmnkards that are known ! How vast 
the host ef extiMrtionerst and of covetow 
men, and rsvilers of all that is good !* 
How mai^ eurae their God and tiieir 
follow men ! How difficult to turn ^ 
comer of a Mieet without hearing an 
oadi ! How neeossary to guard againsi 
the firaoda and deceptions of o^eiis ! 
How many men andjjjvomira are known 
to be impuxe in their lives! In aU 
communities how much does this sin 
abound! and how many ^all be revealed 
at the great day as impure, who ana 
now unsuspeeted ! how many disclosed- 
to the universe as all covered with pol^ 
lutton, who now boast ev^i of purity, 
and who are received into the society 
of the virtuous and the lovely! Verily, 
the broad road to hell is thronged ! And 
verily, the earth is pouring into hell a 
most dense and wretched population, 
and rolling down a tide of sin and mi- 
sery that idiall fill it with groans and 
gnashing of teeth for ever. 

8th. It is well for Christians to reflect 
on their former course of life, as con- 
trasted with their present mercies, ver* 
11. Such were they, and such thej 
would still have been but for the mercy 
of God. Such as is the victim of un- 
cleamiess and pollution, such as is thfl 
profone man and the reviler, anch w# 
should have been but for the mercy of 
God. That idone has saved us, and 
that otUy can keep us. How should 

A.D. 59.1 



OW concerning the things 
■whereof ye wrote unto me : 

we praise God for his mercy, and how 
are we boand to love and serve him for 
his amazing compassion in raising us 
iirom oar deep poiiutipo, and saving qs 
firom heil! 

9th. Christians should be puro. yet, 
ll-<— 19. They should be above suspi- 
cion. They should avoid the appear- 
ance of evil. No Chrbtian can be too 
pure; none can feel too much the obli- 
gation to be holy. By every sacred and 
tender consideration God urges it on 
us; and by a reference to our own 
happiness as well ajd to his own gloiy, 
he calls on us to be holy in our lives. 

10th. May we remember that we are 
not our own. vet. 20. We belong to 
Crod. We have been ransomed by 
sacred blood. By a reference to the 
value of that blood ; by all its preciou»- 
ness and Worth ; by i\ the sighs, and 
tears, and groans that bought us; by 
the agonies of the cross, and the Mtter 
]pains of the death of God's own Son, 
We are bound to live to God, and to him 
alone. MThen we .are tempted to sin, 
let us think of d)e cross. When Satan 
spreads out his allurements, let us recall 
me remembrance of th6 si^rings of 
Calvar^, and remember that all these 
AorroWB were endured that we might be 
pure. O how would sin appear were 
we beneath the cross, and did we ieel 
tile warm blood from itie Saviour's open 
Teins trickle upon us I Who would 
dare indulge in sin there 1 Who could 
do otherwise than devote himself body, 
and soul, and spirit, unto €rod ? 

This chapter conunences the second 
part or divinon of this epistle, or, the 
discussion of those points which had 
been submitted to the iwostk in a letter 
from, the church at Corinthy for his 
mstruction and advice. See the Intro- 
dtiction to the epistle. The letter in 
which they proposed the questions 
which are here discussed, harbeen lost. 
It i$ matii&st that, if we now had it, it 

It is goodforamannotto tonflh 
a woman. 

would throw some light on the answers 
which Paul has given to their inquiries 
in this chapter. The^«f question which 
is discussed (ver. 1—9) is, whether it 
were lawful and proper to enter into 
the marriage relation. How due quaa- 
tion had arisen, it is not now possible 
ta detennine with certainty. It is 
probable, however, that it arose from 
disputes between those of Jewudi ex- 
traction, who held not only the lawful- 
ness, but the importance tff the marriage 
relation, according to the doctrines oi the 
'OM Testament, and certain followers 
or friends of some €freek philosophen^ 
who might have been the advocates of 
celibacy. But whff they advocated that 
doctrine is unknown. It is known, 
however, that many even of the Greek 
philosophers, among whom 'were hj^ 
curgus, Thales, Antiphanes, and Socra- 
tes (see Orotius), tikought that, con* 
sidering "^ untractable tempers of 
w6men, and how troublesome and ^ 
firaugfat with danger was the educatioii 
of <£ildren," it was t2w part of wisdom 
not io enter into the marriage relation. 
From' them may have been derived the 
doctrine of celibacy in the ChriiMltas^ 
church; a doctrine ^t has boaitdlal 
cause ef so much ootruption im ttm 
monastic system, and in the eelitwuiliilii 
the clergy among the papists. T||r 
Jews, however, everywhere defended^ 
the propriety and duty of mairiage^ 
Tliey reganted it as an ordinance of 
God. And to this day they hold that a 
man who has arrived to the age of 
twenty years, and who baa not ai^ 
tared into this relatioki, xadesp prevent 
ed by natural defects, or by pretiKuiit 
sttffy of the law, siHa l^|aifl8t Godb^ 
Between these Wo ebsass, «r thoea is 
the church who had baeai iatvoldaeeA^ 
(here from thetfe two elaasea, the ques^' 
tion w6uld be agitated wh«tiier iQtfrriaga 
#is lawihl and advisablask 

Another queslioik which, it s0^m^ 
had ariM amane tham wai^ wh^thar ft 



[A« Jv* BB* 

% NeTerl2iele80» to avoid ibr- 
nication, let every man have his 

was proper to coniiniM in the mamed 
state in tfae existing condition of the 
church, as exposed to triak and perse- 
cutions ; or whether it was proper for 
those who had become eonveited, to 
continue their relations in life with 
those who were unconyerted. This the 
apostle discusses m ver. 10— S4. I^kh 
bably many supposed that it was un- 
lawfiil to live with those who were not 
Christians; and they thence inferred 
that the relation whidi subsisted before 
conversion should be dissolved. And 
this doctrine they carried to the relaticm 
between master and servant, as well as 
between husband and wife. The gene- 
ral doctrine which Paul states in answer 
te this is, that the wife was not to depart 
from her husband (ver. 10); but if 
she did, abe was not at liberty to many 
again, since her former marriage was 
sSll binding, ver. 11. He added that 
a believing man, or Ghristiaa, should 
not put BMvy his unbelieving wife (ver. 
Ift), and that the relation should conti- 
nue, notwithstanding a diffiBvenoe of 
leligion ; and that ifn. separation ensued. 
It should be In a peaceful manner, and 
tlie parties wen not at liberty to many 
again, ver. 13-— 17. So, also, in regard 
la tiieielatMa of master and slave. It 
WW not to be violently sundered. The 
libtiaos of life wsre not to be broken 
1^ by Christiantty; but every man was 
to remain in that rank (tf life in which 
he was when he was eonverted, unless 
it could be changed in a peaceful and 
lawliil mamMT. ver. 18-<-24. 

A third subject si^>mitted to him 
IMS, whether it was advisable, in axistr 
iiag ctreumslaiBces, that the unmarried 
iiirgiiHi wha weia nemben of the 
chufeh shoidd enter into the marriage 
nlatlon..ver,SI6— 40. This the ^MMtia 
ittswem in the Bmaiader of the chapter. 
The jiMi of his advioe oa that question 
Hthatitwo«ldbalBi0>Wfer them to 
aurry, but that it was «et then advisable; 
Mud that, at aB evaplai th^ should so 
MaalanwMibartfaat fiiivnadiOK^ 

own wife* and let everjr woman 
hav« her own huaband. 

■■ . I .. .. . T . I II , 

and so as not be too much engrosaed 
with the afiairs of this life, but should 
live for eternity. He said that though 
it was lawful, yet, (1.) In their present 
distress it might be unii^visable. ver. 26. 
(7.) That marria^ tended to an in- 
crease of care and anxiety, and it might 
not be proper then to enter into^thal 
relation, ver. 82 — 35. (3.) That they 
should live to God. ver. 29 — 81. (4.) 
That a man should not be oppressive 
and harsh towards his daughter^ or 
towards one under lus care ; but that, 
if it would be severe in him to firbid 
such a marriage, he should allow it 
ver. 36. And, (5.) That on the whola 
it was advisable, under existing circuxn- 
stances, not to enter into the marriage 
relation, ver. 38—40. 

1. Now, coHcerriirtg, dec. In reply 
to your inquiries. The first, it seems^ 
was in regard to the propriety of mar- 
riage; that is, whether it was lawful 
an4 expedient ^ Jt ia good. It is 
well. It is fit, convenient; or, it is 
suited to the present circumstances ; or, 
the thing itself is well and expedient in 
certain circumstances. The apostle did 
not mean that marriage was unlawlult 
for he says (Heb. xiiu 4) that '< marriage 
is honourable in all." But he here 
admits, with one of the parties in Co* 
rinth, that it was well, and proper in 
some circumstances, not to enter into 
the marriage relation. See ver. 7, 8. 
26,28.31,89. %Nottotouehawomtm. 
Not to be connected with her by mar* 
riage. Xenoj^on (Gyro.b.l) uses the 
same word (mjrrtt^ to touch) to denote 
marriage. Comp»G«EL zx. 4. 6; xzvi. 
11. Prov.vL29. 

2*Nevertheles9. But (/^). Plough 
diis is to be admitted as proper where 
it can be done, when a man has entire 
control of lumself and his passions, and 
though in present circumstances it would 
be e;q^ent, yet it may be proper also to 
enter into the marriage connexion, f To 
avoid /SvntcalteR. Gr. On account of 
(VW) ivniication. The word 

A.]>. 89.] 

€iiAPTCE vn. 


• Let tlie * bmband vender 
unto llie wife doe benevolence ; 
and likewise also the wife unto 
the husband. 

4 The wife hath not power 

is wed hete in tde large seoie of tioeii- 
tioomen in genend. For the mke of 
the purity of toetety, and to avoid the 
etila of aensnal indalgenoe, and the 
c«»miption8 and ciimea which attend va 
ilUcit intercourse, it is proper that the 
married state should be entered. To 
this yioe they were particularly exposed 
in Corinth. See the Introdnction. Paol 
would keep the church from scandal. 
How much otII, how much deep poUn* 
tton, how many abominahle crimes 
would have been avoided, which have 
amoe grown out of the monastic system^ 
and iie celibacy of the clergy among 
the papists, if Paul's advice had bec^ 
fijQowed by all professed Christians! 
Fftul says that marriage is honourable, 
and that the relations Of domestic life 
should be formed to avoid the evils 
which would otherwise result. The 
world is the witness of the evils which 
flow from the neglect of his advice. 
Every commuiuty where the nmriage 
tie has been lax and feeble, or where it 
has been disregarded or dishonoured, has 
bten fuH of pollution, and it ever will 
be. Sodely is pure and virtuovs, just 
as marriage is deemed honourable, and 
as its vows are adhered to and preaoYed. 
% V^ every man^ Sec Let the marriage 
vow be honoured by all. % Hanfe kU 
men wife. And one wife to whom he 
shall be fiiltfafiil. Polygamy is unlawfol 
under the gospel; and divorce is unlaw- 
fuL Xet eveiy man and woman, there- 
foe, honour the institation of Go^ wad 
tfoid the evils of illicit indulgence. 

8. Letthehuaand,&c *^Letthem 
net imagine that there is any virtue in 
llying separate from each other, aa If 
Aey were in a state of celibacy.*'— -iM- 
iru^. They are bound to each other; 
in evefcy way they are to evince kind* 
ijass, and tb seek to promote ^ h^pi- 
BMi ud parity of eidi olliMr. Then 

of her owtt body, but the hue> 
band : and likewise also the hus- 
band hath not power of his own 
bodff but the wile. 

5 Defraud ye not one anothert 

is a great deal oidelieaey used here by 
Pkul, and ku exproasioo is removed as 
fiur as possible ftoa the ^raimett of heap 
thenwiilen. His 'meaning is piaia; hut 
instead of using a word to ^^prsss h 
which would be indelicate and o&nsive^ 
he uses one winch is not indelicate in 
the slightest degree. Tho word wlucfa 
he uses (Iummt, fteneoo/oiee) deootas 
kindness, good-wiU, afliBekion of mind. 
And by the use of the Word ^dge" 
(h^uKofitim), he reminds them of the 
sacredness of their vow, and of the iaet 
that in penon, property, and in every 
respect, they belong to each other. . It 
was neeeaattrff to give this direotioii, for 
the contrary might have been regarded 
aa proper by many who would hate 
supposed tiiere was special virtue and 
merit in living separate firom each oAer ; 
*— as facts have ishown that man^r Aoee 
imixbed such an idea ^~«nd it was not 
possible to give the rule with more dei^ 
eocy than ^ml has dona ManyMSS., 
however, instead of *'due benevoknee," 
read ^uxirr, a debt, or that which i$ 
owedt and this reading has boon adflft- 
ed by Gtiesbedi in the text Homei^ 
with a delicacy not unlike ihe apostle 
Paul, uses the word ^oMwra^ friend^ 
ehip, to express the same idea. 

^..The wife hath not power, dice 
By tiie marriage covenant that powav 
in this re^MOt, is transfisrred to Ae 
husband. % ^n<^ Ukewim, abo, ihB 
huaband. The e^ual rights of husbai|d 
and wife, in the Scriptures are e t nj* 
where maintained. They are to lugaid 
th^nselves as united in most intunals 
union, and in most tender lies. 

5. Defrtusdyenotr^^ OftiMiighl 
mentioned above. Withdrew not fium 
the sode^ of eadi other. ^Extatt^ 
htwUhommU. With a mutual ua* 
dentandmg, that you msy engage in 
the extraordSoaiy dntiea of i«iigi>Mi» 




exc^t Ube^ wUk toiuent for a 
time, that ye may give yourselves 
to fasting and prayer; and come 
together again, that ^ Satan tempt 
you not for your incontinency. 

a Joel 3.16. ^ lThefl8.3^. 

Gomp. Ex. six. 16. 1 And come to- 
gethar again, dx. Even by mutual 
oonaeiit, the apofllle would not have this 
sqparation to be peipetual; sinoe it 
would expoee them to many of the 
evils which the mairiage relation was 
designed to avoid. 1 7%ai Sakm, dtc. 
That Satan take not advantage of you, 
and throw you into temptation, and fill 
you with thoughts and passions ^hich 
thetnaniage compact was designed to 

' 6. But I apeak this hy permimon, 
&C. It is not quite certain whether the 
word ** this" (tovto), in this verse, refers 
to what preoedes, or to what -follows. 
On this com m enta t ors are divided. The 
more natural and obvious interpretation 
would be to refer it to the preceding 
statement I am inclined to think that 
the more natural construction is the 
tme one, and that Paul refers to what 
hcT had said in ver. 6. Most recenjt 
commentators, as Macknight and Ro- 
senmiillor, however, suppose it refers to 
what foUows, and appeal to similar 
places in Jofel L 2. Ps. zlix. 2. iGor. 
X. 23. Calvin supposes it refers to 
v^at was said in ver. 1. ^ By pet' 
fmnion (ruyyt^itfjoiih)* Tins word means 
indulgmcBfta permianont and stands 
opposed to that which is expressly en* 
joined. Comp. ver. 25. < I am aUoived 
to say this; I have no express command 
on the suljeet; I give it as my opinion ; 
I do not speak it dicectly under the 
inlhienoe of divine inspirajlion.' See 
ver. 10. 25. 40* . Paul here does, not 
daim to be undet inq>iration in these 
directions which he specifies. But this 
li no argument against his inspiration 
in general, but rather the contrary. For, 
(1.) It shows that he was an honest 
man,.and was disposed to state the exact 
truth. Aa impostor, pretending tp in^ 
■piratiop, would have claimed to have 

6 But I speak this by per- 
mission, and not of command- 

7 For I would that all men 
were > even as I myselL But 

been akvaya insj^red. Who ever heard 
of a preUnder to divine inspiration ad- 
mitting that in any thing he was not 
under divine guidance 1 Pid Mahomet 
ever do thisi Do impostors now ever 
do it 1 (2.) It shows that in other cases^ 
where no exception is made, he daimed 
to be inspired. These few exceptions, 
which he expressly makes, prove that in 
everywhere, else he clumed to be under 
the influence of inspiration. (3.) We 
are to suppose, therefore, that in all his 
writings where he makes no express 
exceptions, (and the exceptions are vay. 
few in number,) Paul claimed to be 
inspired. Macknight, however, and 
some others, understand Ukis as mere 
advice, as an inspired man, though not 
as a command. ^ Not of command* 
ment» Not by express inetruction from 
the Lord. See ver. 25. I do not claim 
in this to be under the influence of 
inspiration; and my counsel here may 
be regarded, or not, as you may be abld^' 
to receive it. 

7. Forlufouldt^fC, I would prefer. 
1 TTiat aU men, dec. That Paul was 
unmarried is evident from 1 Cor. ix. 5* 
But he does not refer to this fejct here, . 
Whra he wishes tiiat all men were like 
himself, he evidently does not intend 
that he would prefer that all should be . 
unmarried, for this would be against tho 
divine inftitution, and against his own 
precepts elsewhere. But he wpuld be 
glad if jbU men had control over their 
passions and propensities as he had; 
had the gift of continence, and could 
abstain firom marriage wheii circum- 
stances of trial, dec, would midce it 
proper. W« may add, that when Paul 
wishes to exhort to any thing that is. 
difficult, he usually adduces hta awn 
exa^k to show that it may be done/ 
an example which it would be well for 
1 all ministem to be able to follow* \BtU^ 




•evety mitt hsdi Mb pfopM gift 
of God, <Hie alter this maimer, 
and another after that. 

8 I say. therelltire to the un- 
married and widowBt It k good 

CMry man hath hi» proper gift, Evoy 
man haa his own peculiar (alenty. or 
exoallence. One man excels in one 
thing, and another in another. One 
may not have this particalar irirtae, but 
he maj bo distinguished fijr another 
▼irtoe quite as yaluable. The doitrine 
here is» therolbrer that we am no^ to 
jvdge of others by oianelTes, or measove 
their Yiitoe hy oura* We may excel 
in some one thmg, ihey in another. 
And because they Imtc not otiriiecuUar 
Tirtue« or capability^ we are not to con- 
demn or denounce them. Comp. Matt. 
ziz. 11, 13. Y CfGofL Bestowed by 
God, either in the original endowments 
and.ftculties of body or mind, or by his 
grace. In either case it is the gift of 
God. The virtue of continence is his 
gift as well as any other; and Paul had 
reason, as any other man must have, to 
be thankful that God had conferred it on 
him. So tf a man is naturally amiable, 
kind, gentle, huge-hearted, tender, and 
affectionate^ he should regard it as the 
gift of God, and be thankftil that he has 
not to contend with the evils of a morose, 
proud, haughty, and severe temper. It 
IS true, however, that aU these virtues 
may be greatly elzengthened .by disci- 
pline^ and that religion gives vigour and 
oomdiness to them alL Paul's virtue 
in this was strengthened by his resolu- 
tion; by his manner of life; by his 
frequent listings and trials, and ^ the 
abundant empkn/ment which God gave 
him in the apoetleship. And it is true 
still, that if a man is deairotts to over- 
C(Hne the hists of the flesh, industry, and 
hardship^ and trial, and seif^enial *^ill 
enable him, by the g^race of God, to da 
it JdkneMB is the cause of no small 
part of the coarupt desires of men; and 
God kept Paul from' these, <1.) By 
giving him enough to iiof wid, (2.) 
By givlog bim en^ufl^ Is imjfer* 

for them if they abide enm m I. 

9 But if they caonot eoafaiii, 
let * them marry : for it is better 
to marry than to b«ni. 

10 Ajid unto the married I 

h lTiin^l4. 

" ■ ' — ^^— ~— — ^— ^^— ^^— ^-^— — ^■^■^--^^'^—— 

8. U i$ good for them. It may be 
advisable, in the present ctrcttmstancae 
or persecution and distress^ not to be 
encumbered with the cares and ansi^ 
ties of a family. See ver. 26. 82— 84. 
The word tmmarried {iydfuoK) may 
refisr dther to those who had never been 
mmiied, or to widowen. It here moans 
simply these who were at that time 
unmairied,aBd his reasoning applies to 
both riassns ^ And to widowo. The 
apostle spedfies these, thmqph he had 
not specified widowert particnfaudy. 
The reMon of this distinction seems to 
be, that he considem more paitieuiariy 
the case of these iemales who had never 
be» married, in the dose of the dwplM!. 
ver. 2& Y Tftai thetf Mde. Thai 
they remain, ia the present droum' 
stan6e% unmarried. See ver. 26. 

9. BtU if they cannot eonUdn. li 
they have not the gift of continence; if 
they cannot be memo against ten^te- 
tion; iflheyhavenotstieogthof virtiis 
enough to preserve them from the 
danger of sin, and of bringing reptoaeh . 
and aeandal on ihio church. \ M ul 
beiter. It is to be preferred. *1 T%an 
to bum. The possioa here refiorred to 
is often eompared to a firft SeeVirg. 
JSn. IV. 68. It is better to many, 
even with all the inconveniences attend* 
ing the marriage life in a time of distress 
and persecution in the churdi (ver. 26), 
than to be the pr^ of raging, conaoni*^ 
inj^, and exciting passions. 

10. And unto the married. This 
verse commence^ the eecond subject of 
inquiry; to wit, whether it was proper, 
in the existing state of things, for those 

, who tvere liiarried to continue this rela- 
tion, or wh ither they ought to separate. 
The reaaom why any may have supposed 
that, it Was best to separate, may have 
been, (1.) That their troubles and pev* 
sMatwns ai^ b6 much thalthey might 



£A. D. 59 

conmiand* yei not I, but the 

Loird, Let * not the wife depart 
from her husband : 

11 But and if she depart, let 
hcf remain namarried, or be re- 

a Mal.2.14-16. Matt.l9.6»9. 

judge it best that ftmilies should be 
(token up; and, (2.) Probably many 
ffopposed that it was unlawful for a 
Christian wife or husband to be con- 
nected at all with a heathen and an 
idolater. *\ I command, yet not I, but 
iAe LortL Not I so much as the Lord. 
This injunction is not to be understood 
as udmce merely, but as a solemn, divine 
oommand, from which you are not at 
liberty to depart P|iul here professes 
to utter the language of inspiration, and 
demands obedience. The express com- 
mand of " the Lord" to whidi he refers, 
is probably the precept recorded in 
Matt ▼. 32, and xiz. 3^10. These 
prooepts of Christ asserted that the 
marriage tie was sacred and inviolable, 
t Let not the wife depart, dec Let 
her not prove feitmeas to h^ marriage 
Tovrs; let her not, on any pretence, 
desert her husband. Though she is a 
Christian, and he is not,' yet let her not 
ae^, on that account, to be separate 
fiom him.— The law of Moses did not 

germit a wife to divorce herself from 
er husband, tboagh it was sometimes 
done (camp. Matt x. 12); but the 
Greek and Roman laws allowed it— 
Chrotitu, But Paul here refers to a 
formal and legal sepamtion before the 
magistrates, and not to a voluntary 
separation, vrithout intending to be for- 
mally divorced. The reasons for this 
opinioo are, (1.) That such divorces 
were known and practised among both 
Jews and heaUiens. (2.) It was im- 
portant to settle the question whether 
they were to be allowed in the Christian 
church. (3.) The claim would be set 
up, probably, that it might be done. 
(4.) The question whether a voluntary 
mparation might not be proper, where 
one party was. a Christian and the other 
not, he discusses in the following verses. 
ittv 12^—17. Here, thevefove, he §^ 

conciled to her hnsband: and let 
not the husband put away A»# 

12 But to the rest speak I, 
not* the Lord: If any brother 


lemnly repeats the law of Christ, that 
divorce, under the Christian economy, 
was not to be in the power either of the 
husband or wife. 

11. But end if »he depart. If she 
have withdrawn by a rash and foolish 
act; if she has attempted to dissolve 
the marriage vow, die is to remain un- 
married, or be reconciled. She is not 
at liberty to marry another. This may 
refer, I suppose, to instances where 
vrives, ignorant of the rule of Christ, 
and supposing that they had a right to 
separate themselves from their hui^^dSy * 
had rashly left them, and had supposed 
that the marriage contract was dissolved. 
Paul tells them that this was tmpoesihie ; 
and that if they had so separated Srom 
their husbands, the pure laws of Chris- 
tianity did not recognise this right, and ' 
they must either be reconciled to their 
husbands, or remain alone. The marriage 
tie was so sacred that it could not be dis- 
solyed by the vrill of eidier party. ^ Lei 
her remain unmarried. That is, let her 
not many another. ^ Or be reconciled 
to her husband. Let this be done, if 
possible. If it cannot be, let her remain • 
unmarried. It vras a duty to be recon* 
died, if it was possible. If not, she 
should not violate her vows to her hus- 
band so fer as to many another. It is 
evident that this rule is still binding, 
and that no one who has separated from 
her husband, whatever be the cause^ 
unless there be a regular divorce, accord* 
ing to the law of Christ (Matt v. 32), 
can be at liberty to many again. ^ And 
let not the husband. See Note, Matt 
V. 32. This right, granted under the' 
Jewish law, and practised among all the 
heathen, was to be taken away wholly 
under the gospel. The marriage tie was 
to be regarded as sacred ; and the tyran* 
By of man over woman was to cease. - 
12. But^io the rest. <I have spoken 





kaih a wifd that belieTetii not, 
and she be fdeased to dwdl wkk 
him, let him not put her away. 

in regaid to the duties of the unmained, 
and the question whether it is right and 
•dnsable that they should many. ver. 
1 — 9. I have also uttered the conunand 
of ^e Lord in regard to those who are 
married) and the question whether sepa- 
ration and divorce were proper. Now 
In regard to the rest of the persons and 
eases referred to» I will deliver my opi- 
nion.' The restf or remainder, here 
referred to, relaites particularly to the 
cases in which one party waa a Chris- 
tian and the other not In the previous 
Teisee he had delivered the solemn, ex- 
plicit law of Christ, that divorce vnB to 
take j^ace en neither side, and in iko 
instance, except agreeably to the law of 
Christ Matt ▼.32. That was settled 
by divine authority. In the subsequent 
Teiaes he discusses a different question ; 
iriieth^ a voluntary separation was 
not advisable and proper when the one 
party was a Christian and the other not 
The word rest refers to these instances, 
and the questions vfhich would arise 
under this inquiry. \ Not the Lord, 
Note, ver. 6. < I do not claim, in this 
advice, to be under the influence of in- 
spiration ; I have no express command 
on the subject from the Lord; but I 
.defivet my opinion as a servant of the 
Lord (ver. 40), and as having a right 
to ofier advice, even when I have no 
express command from God, to a church 
which I have founded, and which has 
consulted me on the subject* This 
was a case in which both he and they 
were to J|>llow the principles of Christian 
prudence and propriety, when there was 
no express conmuuodment Many such 
cases may^ occur. But few, perhaps 
none, can occur, in which some Chris- 
tian principle shall not be found, that 
will be suflScient to direct the anxious 
inquirer after truth and duty. 5 Jfony 
brother. AoyChristian. ^ Thai be- 
Meveth not. Th%t ia not a Christian ; 
that is a heathen. K And if she be 
jphoMed* Ifitseeaabesttoher; ifahe 

. 13 And the womaii 

hath a husband that belieTOth 

not, and if he be pleased to 

'_. _ ^ ^ 

consents; approTes oi living togedier 
stilL There might be many eases when 
the wife or the husband, that was not a 
Christian, would be so opposed to 
Christianityi and so viol«At in their ojh 
position, that they would not be willing 
to live with a Christian. When this 
was the case, the Christtan husband or 
wife could not prevent the s^wration. 
When this was not the case, they were 
not to seek a separation theniselves. 

Y To dwell with him. To remain in 
connexion with him as his wife, though 
they differed on the subject of religion* 

Y Let him not put her away. Though 
die is a heathen, thoqgh opposed to his 
religion, yet the marriaj^ tow is sacred 
and inviolable. It is not to be sundered 
by any change which can take flace in 
the ofomquB oi either party. It is evl* 
dent that if a man were at liberty to 
dissolve the marriage tie^ or-to disc|id 
his wife when his own opinions were 
changed on the subject of reUgion, that 
it would at once destroy all the sacred* 
ness of the marriage uniolif and render 
it a nullity. Even, dierefore, when 
there is a dlfierence of (^»nion on the 
vital subject of religion, the tie is not 
dissolved ; but the only efifect of religion 
should be« to make iheconverted husband 
or wife more tender, kind,.afiectionate^ 
and feithf ul than they were before ; and 
all the more so as their partners are 
without the hc^es of the gospel, and as 
they may be won to love the Saviour* 
▼er. 16. 

Id. Let her notkaoehim. A thanga 
of phraseology from the last ▼ene, to 
suit the circumstances. The wife had 
not power to put away Uie husband, 
and expel him from his own home; but 
she might think it her duty to be seps^ 
rated ffom him. This apostle counsels 
her not to do this; and this advice 
should still be followed. She should 
still love her husband and seek his wet 
fere ; she should be still a kind, afieo- 
tioaate, and feithful wife; and all tha 


{ A» D» 59. 

dhf«It wUtk heti let her not 
ieaye him. 

more so that ehe may show him the 
excellence of reli^on, and win him to 
love it 81m ehotdd even bear much, 
tnd bear it long; nor dkonM she leave 
him tinieae her ii^ is rendered miseMrie, 
or in danger ; or tmless he wholly neg- 
lects to mate provision for her, and 
leaves her to sobering, to want, and to 
tears. In such a case no prece]^ of 
leligion foibids her to letam to her &- 
^Ps house, or to seek a place of safety 
and of comibrt. Bat even then it is 
not to be a separation on account of a 
difierence of religious sentiment, bat for 
bratal treatment. Even then the mar- 
liage tie » not dissdved, and neither 
party' are at liberty to many again. 

14V F<fr the unbeUeoing husband. 
The haAband that is not a Chiisttan ; 
who still remains a heathen, or an im- 
penitent man. The apostle here states 
rauoru why a separation should not 
take place when there was a diflferenee 
of «eligion4Hitween the hosband and the 
wife. The first is, that the unbelieving 
husband is sanctified by the believing 
wife.. And the obfed of Ais statement 
seems to be, to meet an objection which 
might esist in the mind, and ^hich 
might, perhaps, be urged by some. 
*^all I not be polhied by mtch a con- 
nexion! ShiUl I not be diifiled, in the 
eye of Grod, by living in a close union 
with a heathen, a sinner, an enemy of 
God, and an opposer of the gospel?' 
This objection was natural, and is, 
doubtless, often felt To this the apos- 
tle replies, < No; the contrary may be 
true. The comiexion produces a spe- 
eies of saactification, or diffuses a kmd 
of holiness over the anbefie^ring party 
by the believing party, so &r as to ren- 
te their children holy, and therefore it 
is improper to seek for a separation.' 
7 Is gandified {nyUrtai), There has 
been a g^reat variety of opinions in re- 
gard-to the sense oS this woid. It does 
not comport with my design to state 
these opinions. The usual meaning of 
the word is, to make holy ; to set apart 
toAsaotidiise; toconseemtofdce. See 

14 For the mibeBeving h» 
band k saaetified hj ihe wBis, 

II 1 » II II I II ■» ,m m I I I I I ■» 

Note, John xviL 17. But the expres* 
sion cannot mean here, (1.) That tiis 
linbelieving husband would become 
holy, or be a Christian, by the merejaei 
of a connexion with a Christian, for 
this would be to do violence to the 
words, and woidd be contrary to fiiclB 
evei^here ; nor, (2.^ That the unbe- 
lieving husband had oeen sanctified by 
the Christian wife (Whitby), for thtt 
would not be trite in all cases; nor, 
(3.) That the unbelieving husband 
would gtadnally b<fecome more fovoom 
bly inclined to Christianity, by obseir- 
ing its effects on tiie w^ (according to 
Semler) ; for, though this might be true, 
yet the apostie was speaidng <lf somoi- 
tiling theriy a&d wfiidi rendered the^ 
children at that -time holy ; nor, (4.) 
That &e unbelieving husband m^hi 
more easily be sanctified, or become a 
Christian, by being connected with a 
Christian wife (according to Rosenmlil- 
ler and 8chleusner), because be m 
speaking of sometiiing iii the connex* 
ion which made the cUldrenholy ; and 
because the word &yta^e» is not used 
in this sense elsewhere. But it is a 
good rule of interpretation, that tile 
words whidi are used in any place are 
to be limited in their 4gnificati(m. bjf 
the connexion ; and all that we are re- 
quired to nnderstand hero is, that the 
unbelieving husband was sanctified in 
regard io the subject under diseUsshn i 
that is, in regard to the question wh»* 
ther it was proper for tb^m to live toge- 
ther, or whether they should be separated 
or not And the sense may be, < Thej 
are by the marriage tie one flesh. Tl^ 
are indissolubly united by tiie oidinance 
of God. As they are one by his ap* 
pointment, as they have received lu« 
sanction tp the marriage union, and as 
one of them is holy, so the other is to 
be regarded as sanctified, or made "» 
holy hy the divine sanction to the union, 
that it is proper for them to live together 
In the marriage relation.* And in proof 
of this, Paul says if it were ^#80, if tlie 
oonnexioirwas to beiegai^^ as impam 

a: jy. 69.] 




and the unbelieving i^fe is sano- 
Ufied by the husband ; eke were 

and abominable, then their children were 
to be esteemed as ill^timate and un- 
clean. But now they were noi so 
v^gaided, and could not so be; and 
hence it followed that they might law- 
fully continue together. 80 Calvin, 
Beza, and Doddridge interpret the -ex- 
pression. ^ El^ toere your children 
unclean (Jaukbtt^d). Impure; the op- 
posite of what is meant by holy. Here 
observe, (1.) That this is a reason why 
the parents, one of whom was a Chris- 
tian and the other not, should not be 
separated; and, (8.) The reason is 
founded on the foct, that if they were 
separated, the o&pring of such a union 
must be regarded as illegitimate, or un- 
holy ; and, (d.) It mutt be improper to 
aepaiate in such a way, and for such a 
reason, because even they did not be- 
fieve, and could not believe, that their 
children were dejQled, and polluted, and 
subject to the shame and disgrace attend- 
ing illegitimate children. This passage 
has often been interpi^ted, and is often 
adduced to prove that ohildren are 
''federally holy,** and that they are enti- 
tled to the privilege of has^/^sm on the 
ground of the fiiith otone of the parents. 
But against this inteipretation there are 
insuperable objections. ( I .ytht phrase 
"federally holy'' is umntelHgible, and 
conveys no idea to the great mass of 
men. It occurs nowhere in the Scrip- 
tures, and what can be meant by it ? 
(8.) It does not accord with the scope 
ana design of the argument There is 
not one word about baptism here; not 
one allosion to it ; nor does the argu- 
ment in the remotest degree bear upon 
It The question was not whedier 
children should be baptized, but it was 
whether there should be a separation 
between man and wife, where the one 
was a Christian and the other .not 
Paul states, that if such a separatfon 
should tdbe place, it would imply that 
the marriage was improper; and of 
tount tike children must be regarded 
ss nadean* But how would the tnp- 


your childfen andean ; but now 
• are they hoi j. 



position that they were federally holy, 
and the proper subjects of baptism^ bear 
on this? Would it not be equally trua 
that it was proper to baptize the child* 
ren whether the parents were separated 
or not? Is it not a doctrine among 
Pedobaptista everywhere, that the child^ 
ren are entitled to baptism on the faith 
of A/Aer of the parents, and that tiuit 
doctrine is not afiected by the questioii 
here agitated by Paul? Whether II 
was proper for them to live togetiier or 
not, was it not equally true Uiat the 
child <^ a believing parent was to ba 
baptized? But, (8.) The supposittoa 
that this means that the children would 
be regarded as illegitimate if such a 
separation should tue place, is one thai 
accords with the whole scope and design 
of the argument < When one party k 
a Christian and the other not, shall there 
be a separation ?' This was the quea* 
tion. .*No,' says Paul; 'if there be 
such a separation, it must be because 
the mamage it improper,- because h 
would be wrong to Uve together in sudii 
drcumstanees.' What would follow 
from this ? Why, that all the children 
that have been bom since the one party 
became a Christian, must be regarded 
as having been bom while a connexion 
existed ^t was improper, and unchri»> 
tian, and unlawful, and of course they 
must be regarded as illegitimate. Bul^ 
says he, you do not bdieve this your- 
selves. It follows, therefore, that Htk 
connexion, eten aocpr^g to your own 
views, is proper. (4.) This accord 
with die meaning of the word unclean 
(a»»d-dt^a). It properly dsnotes thai 
which is impure, defiled, idoktrous^ 
unclean (a) In aLevitical sentie. Let. 
v. 2. (b^ m a morri sense. Acts x. M 
2 Cor. VI. 17. Eph. ▼. 5. The wofd 
will appropriately express the sense 
of illegitimacy ; and tiie argument^ I 
think, evidently requires this. It may 
be summed up in a few wordsw 'Tour 
separ a tion would be a proclamation fa 
ail that you regard the marriage m U»- 



[A. D. 59. 

16 But if the uxibeiieving de- 
part, let him depart. A brother 
or a sister is not under bondage 

Ttlid and improper. From this it would 
frUow that the oflEspring of sach a mar- 
nage would be illegitimate. But you 
•Z6 not prepared to admit this ; you do 
not believe it. Your children you es- 
teem to be legitimate, and they are so. 
The maniage tie, therefore, should be 
ragaided ae landing, and separation 
nnneoessaiy and impr^r.* See, how* 
eiver, Doddridge and Bloomfield for a 
diflferant view of this subject — I believe 
infiuit bi^ttism to be prc^r and right, 
and an inestimable privilege to parents 
and to children. But a good cause 
should not be made to rest on feeble 
■iq»ports, nor on forced and unnatural 
interpretations of the Scriptures. And 
such I rdgard the usual interpretation 
placed on this passage. 1 But now 
are they hoiy. Holy in the same sense 
as the unbelieving husband is sanctified 
by the b^eving wife; for different 
forms of the same word are usual. T^at 
is, they are legitimate. They are not 
to be branded and treated as bastards, 
as they would be by your separation. 
You regard them as having been bom 
in lawful wedlock, and they are so ; and 
they should be treated as such by their 
parents, and not be exposed to shame 
and disgrace by your separation. 

16. But if the unheUemng depart. 
U they choose to leave you. 1 Let him 
dqMxrt. You cannot prevent it, and 
you are to aobmit to it patiently, and 
bear it as a Christian, t -^ brother or 
a titter is mut under bondage, Sec Many 
have supposed that this means that 
they would be at liberty to many again 
when the unbelieving wife or hus^und 
had gone away; as Calvin, Grotius, 
SosenmUller, dec. But this is contrary 
to the strain of the argument of the 
■postle. Ilie sense of the expression 
<'is not bound," dx. is, that if they 
forcibly depart, the one that is left is 
not bound by the marriage tie to make 
provision for the one that departed ; to 

in such cases: but God hath 
called * us * to peace. 

Id For what knowest thou, 

a Bmn.I2.18; 14.19. Heb.12.14. • in. 

do acts that might be prejudicial' to i^ 
ligion by* a violent efbit to compel tha 
departing husband or wile to live with 
the one that is forsaken ; but is at liber- 
ty to live separate, and should regard 
it as proper so to do. 1 God hath 
called us to peace. Religion is peaoe- 
fuL it would prevent contentions and 
broils. This is to be a grand prin* 
ciple. If it cannot be obtained by liv* 
ing together, there should be a peaceful 
separation ; and tvkfire sooh a separa- 
tion has taken place, the one which has 
departed should be sufiered to remain 
separate in peace. God has called ua 
to live in peace with all if we can. 
This is the genend principle of religion 
on which we are always to act In 
our relation to pur partners in life, a* 
well as in all other ntatiow and cir- 
cumstances, this is to guide us. Calvin 
supposes that this d^laration pertains 
to the former part of this verse; and 
that Paul means to say, that if the un- 
believing depart, he is to be suffered to 
^o so peaceably rather than to have 
contention and strifo, for God has called 
us to a life of peace. 

16. For what knotvest thou, Ac 
The apostle here assigns a reason why 
the believing party should not separate 
from the other needlessly, or why he 
should not desire to be separated. The 
reason is, the possibility, or the probar 
Mlity, that the unbelieving party nught 
be converted by the example and en- 
treaties of the oUier. f Whether then, 
dec. How do you know but this may 
be done ? Is there not a possibility, nay 
a probability of it, and is not this' a 
sufficient reason for continuing to* 
gether ? f Save thy husband. Gain 
him over to the Christian faith; be 
the means of his conversion and sal- 
vation. Comp. Rom. xL 26.*— Wo 
learn £rom this vense, (1.) That there 
is a possibility that an unbelieving 
partner in lifo may be converted by the 


A. D. 61?r] 



wife, whetker ^ou shalt save 
*.thy husband? or how * kAow- 

alPeLai,2. *what. 

sample of the other. . (2.) That this 
should be an object of intense interest 
to the Christian husband or wife, 
because (a) It will promote the happi- 
* ness of the other ; (b) It will promote 
their usefidness; (c) It will be the 
means of blessing their fhmily, for 
parents should be united on the sirf)ject 
of religion, and in their example and 
influence in training up Uieir soni and 
daughters ; and (d^ Because the salva- 
(ion of- a beloTed husband or wife 
should be an object of intense interest, 
(3.) This object is of so much import- 
ance that the Christian should be will- 
itig tb submit to much, to bear much, 
and to bear long, in order that it may 
be aecomplidxe^ Paul said that it 
sras desirable evdn to hve with a hea- 
then partner to do it ; aiid so albo it is 
desirable to bear much, very much, with 
even an unkind and fretful temper, with 
an unfaithful and even an intemperate 
husband, or with a perverse and peevish 
wife, if there is a prospect that they 
ioBj be converted. (4.) This same di- 
rection is elsewhere given. 1 Pet iii. 
1> 2. (6.) It is often done. It is not 
hopeless. Many a wife has thus been 
the means of saving a husband ; many 
a husband has been the means of the 
salvation of the wife. — ^In regard to 
the means by which this is to be hoped 
for, we may observe that it is not l^ a 
hmrsh, fretful, complaining temper; -it 
is to be by kindness, and tenderness, 
and love. It is to be by an exemplifi- 
cation of the excellency of religion by 
example ; by patience when provoked, 
meekness when injured, love when 
despised, forbearance when words of 
harshness and irritation are used, and 
by showing kow a Christian can live, 
and what fs the true nature of religion : 
by kind and affectionate conversation 
when atone, when the heart is tender, 
when calamities vimt the &mil|^ and 
when the thoughts are drawn along 
hf the events of Providence towards 

est thou, O man, whether Ifaou 
shalt save thy wife ? ' 

17 But as God hath distri- 

death. Not by harshness or severity 
of manner, is the result to be hoped for, 
but by tender entreaty, and mildness of 
life, and by prayer. Pre-eminently this is 
to be used. When a husband will not 
hear, God can hear ; when he is angry, 
morose, or unkind, God is gentle, ten- 
der, and kind ; and when a husband or 
a wife turn away from the voice of 
gentle entreaty, God's ear is open, and 
God is ready to hear an^ to bless. Let 
one thing guide the life. We are 
never to cease to set a Christian 
example ; never to cease to live as a 
Christian should live ; never to cease to 
pray fervently to the God of grace, 
that the partner of our lives may be 
brought under die full influence of 
Christian truth, and meet us in the 
enjoyments of heaven. 

17. But as God hath di^ributed, 
Sec As God hath divided (iftl^mi'T; 
t. e, given, imparted to any one. As 
God has given grace to every one. The 
words 1/ fii denote simply but in the 
beginning of this verse. The apostle 
here introduces a new subject; or an 
inquiry varying somewhat from that 
preceding, though of the same gene- 
ral nature. He had discussed the 
question whether a husband and vnSd 
ought to be separated on account of a 
difl^rence in religion. He now says 
that the general principle there stated 
ought to rule everywhere ; that men 
who become Christians ought not to 
seek to changetheir condition or calling 
in life, but to remain in that situation 
in which ^ey were when they became 
Christians, and dlow the excellence of 
their religion in that particular calling. 
The object of Paul, therefore, is to pre- 
serve order, industiy, jbithfhlness in the 
relations of life, and to show that 
Christianity does not design to break 
up the relations of social and domestic 
intercourse. This discussion continues 
to ver. 24. The phrase <'as God hath 
distributed" refers to the condition in 




buted to every maHy as * the Lord 
hath called every oae, so let him 
walk. And * so ordain I in ail 

18 Is any man called being 
circumcised ? let him not become 
uncircumcised. Is any called in 

a ySD^ » c.4,17. 2Cor.llJ2a 

which men are placed in life, whether 
$M rich or poor, in a state of fieedom or 
•ervitade, of learning or ignorance, &c 
And it irapliea that God appoints the 
lot of men, and orders the cireom- 
■tanoefl of their condition ; that religion 
!• not designed to interfere directly with 
^s; and that men should seek to 
diow the real excellence of religion in 
tiie particular sphere in which they may 
have been placed by divine Providence 
hefort they became converted. \ M 
tie Lord hath coHed every one. That 
is, in the condition or circumstances in 
which any one is when he is called by 
Uie liOid to be a Christian. ^ So let 
him walk* In that sphere of life ; in 
that calling (ver. 20) ; in that particular 
relation in which he was, let him re- 
main, unless he can consistently change 
it for the better, and thirb let him 
illustrate the true beauty and excellence 
ef religion. This was designed to 
counteract the notion that the fact of 
embracing a new religion dissolved the 
relations of life which existed before. 
This idea probably prevailed extensive- 
ly among the Jews. Paul's object is 
to show that the gospel, instead of dis- 
solving those relations, only strengthen- 
ed th^, and enabled those who were 
converted the better to discharge the 
eludes which grow out of them. 1 And 
90 ordain /, &c This is no peculiar 
fule for you Corinthians. It is the 
universal rule which I everywhere in- 
culcated. It is not improbable that 
there was occasion to insist every- 
where on this rule, and to repress du- 
^ere which wif^ have been attempts 
ed by some who might suppose that 
Christianity dissolved the former ob- 
ligations of life. 

uncircnmcisipn T ' let him not be 
circumcised. -^ 

19 Circumcision ' is nothing, 
and uncircumcision is nothing, 
but the keeping ' of the com- 
mandments of God. 

20 Let every man abided in 

e Acts 16.1 Ac. Oal.6.2,lDC. d OaAJiJ^ S.lft. 
0jiio.15.14. Uiio.2.3. /Prov.S7.a 

18. b any man eaUed? Does any 
one become a Christian? Note, ch. L 26. 
^ Being eireumeUed, Being a native- 
bom Jew^ or having become a Jewish 
proselyte, and having submitted to the 
initiatory rite of the Jewish religion. 
^ Let him not become uncireumcised. 
This could not be literally done. But 
the apostle refers here to certain efforts 
which were made to remove the maricf 
of circumcision vibich, wer^ often at- 
tempted by those who were ashamed 
of having been circumcised. The 
practice is often alluded to by Jewish 
writers, and is described by them. 
Comp. 1 Mac. i. 15. It is not decorous 
or proper here to show how this was 
done. The process is described in 
Cels. de Med. 7. 25. See Grotiua and 
Bloomfield. ^ If any called in uneir- 
cumdnon? A Gentile, or one who 
had not been curcumdaed. \ Let hin^ 
not be cireumdeed. The Jewish rites 
are not binding, and are not to be en- 
joined on those who have been convert- 
ed from the Gentiles. See Notes, Rom. 
ii. 27—30. 

19. Cireumdnon is nothingf dus. 
It is of no consequence in itself. It is 
not that which God requires now. And 
the mere external rite can be of no 
consequence one way or the other. 
The heart is all ; and that is what 
God demands. See Note, Rom. ii. 29. 
1 But the keying of the command' 
menta of Go£ & something, t« the 
main thmg, m every thing; and this 
can be done whether a man is circum- 
cised or not. 

20. Let every man abide. Let him 
remain or continue. \ In Ihe Moxm 
ealUng. The same occupation, pro- 
fession, rankof life We use the wo«d 

A. D. 59.7 



the same calling w&erein he was 

21 Art thou called being a 


eaUUng in the same sense to denote 
the occupation or profession of a man. 
Probably the original idea which \di 
IDden to designate a profession as a co/A 
ing was the belief that God calFed 
every man to the profession and rank 
which he occupies ; that is, that it is 
by his arrmigement,OTprouidenee, that 
he occupies that rank rather than an- 
other. In this way every man has a 
call to the profession in which he is 
engaged as really as ministers of the 
gospel ; -and every man should have as 
dear evidence that God has called him 
to the sphere of life in which he moves 
as ministere of the gospel should have 
that God has called them to their ap- 
propriate profession. This declaration 
of Paul, that every one ia to remain In 
the same occupation or rank in which 
he was when he was converted, is to 
be take^ in a general and not in an 
unqualified sense. It does not design 
to teadi that a man is in no situation 
to seek a change in his profession when 
he becomes pious. But it is intended 
to show that religion was the firiend of 
order ; that it did not disregard or dis- 
arrange the relations of social life ; that 
it was fitted to produce contentment 
even in an humble walk, and to prevent 
repinings at the lot of those who were 
more favoured or happy. That it did 
not design to prevent all change i^ ap- 
parent from the next verse, and from 
the nature of the case. Some of the 
drcnmstances in whidi a change of 
condition, oc of calling, may be proj^r 
when a man is converted, are the fbU 
lowing. (1.) When a man is a shoef 
and he can obtain his fiieedom. ver. 21. 
(2.) When a man is pursuing a wicked 
calling or course of life when^he was 
converted, even if it is lucrative, he 
should abandon it as speedily as possi- 
ble. Thus if a man is engaged, as 
John Newton was, in the slave-trade, 
he should at once abandon it If he is 
engaged in the maniifi«tare or sale 

seTvant ? care * not for it: but tf 
thou mayest be made free, use 
it rather. 

a Heb.l3J». 

oi ardent spiiits, he should at once ftr- 
sake the business, even at great person* 
al sacrifice, and engage in a lawftil and 
honourable employment. See Note, 
Acts xix. 19. No considerations aiu 
justify a continuance in a course of 
life like this • after a man is converted. 
No consideration can make a businese 
which is ''evil, and only evil, and that 
continually," proper or right (3.) 
Where a man can increase lus useful- 
ness by choosing a new profession. 
Thus the usefulness of. many a man is 
greatly promoted by his leaving an 
agricultural, or mechanical employment ; 
or by his leaving the bar, or the meiv 
cantile profession, and becoming a 
minister of the goi^. In such situ»> 
dons, religion not aalj permits a man 
to change his profeteion, but it demandt 
it ; nor will God smile upon him, or 
Mess him, unless the change is made. 
An opportunity to become more usefol 
imposes an obligation to change the 
course of life» And no man is per- 
mitted to waste his life and talents in a 
mere scheme of money-making, or in 
self-indulgence, when by changing his 
calling he can do more for the nlvation 
of the world. 

21. Being a servant (iou\oc). A 
slave. Slaves abounded in Greece, and 
in every part of the heathen woild. 
Athens, e. g,, had, in her best dajra^ 
twenty thomnrnd freemen, and four 
hundred thousand slaves^ See the 
condition oi the heathen world on tfaia 
subject illustrated at length, and in a 
very learned manner, by Rev. B. B. 
fSdwards, in the Bib. Repository fi»r 
Oct 1836, pp. 411 — 436. It was a 
very important subject to inquire what 
ought to be done in such instances. 
Many slaves who had been converted 
might argue that the institution of 
slavery was contrary to the rights of 
man ; that it destroyed their equality 
with other men ; that it was cruel, and 
of^pressive, and va^osi in the 



dcgiM; ud that thevefiire Uwy ought 
not to submit to it, but that they should 
Imnt their bonds, and assert their rights 
as freemen. In order ta prevent rest- 
lessness, oneasiness, and insubordinA- 
iifiiil in Older to preserre the peace of 
aodety, and to prereni religion from 
being legaided as disoiganiiing and dis- 
erderiy, Paul heve states the principle on 
which the slaTO was to act And by re- 
ferring to this case, which was the strong- 
est which coold occur, he designed doubU 
leas to incukale the duty of older, and 
eontentment in general in afl the other 
relations in which men might be when 
they were converted. 1 Cart noi for it. 
Let it not be a subject of deep anxiety 
and distress ; do not deem it to be dis- 
graceful ; let it not affeet your spirits ; 
but be content in the lot of life where 
God has placed you. If you ean in a 
proper way obtain your freedom^ do it ; 
if not, let it not be a subject of painfhl 
leflection. In the sphere of life where 
God by his providence has placed you, 
strive to evince the Christian spirit, 
and show that you are able to bear the 
aorrows and endure the toils of your 
humble lot with sufapnission to the will 
ef God, and so as to advance in that 
relation the interest of the true religion. 
Li that calling do your duty, and 
evince always &e spirit of a Christian. 
Tba» duty is often enjoined on. those 
who were servants, or slaves. £(^ 
«L 6. CoL iiL 23. 1 Tim. rl 1. Tit 
iL9. I Petit 18. This dnty of the 
slave, however, does not make the op- 
praaswn of the master right or just, any 
more than the duty of one who is per- 
secuted or renled to be palientand miBek 
makes the conduct of the penecutor or 
veviler just or right ; nor does it prove 
fBbat the master has a right to hold the 
dave as property ^ whidi can never be 
Tight in the sight of God ; butit requires 
suiply that the slave should evince^ 
even in the midst of degradation and 
injury, the spirit of a Christian, just as 
it hi required ai a man who is injured 
in any way, to bear it as becomes a 
follower of the Lord Jesus. Nor does 
this passage prove that a slave ought 
not to d»ire freedom if it can be ob- 

1 «< 

[A. D. 59. 

i, fer this is si^posed in the sub- 
sequent clause. Every human being 
has a right to desire to be free, and to 
seek fiberty. Batit should be done m 
accordance with the rules of die gospel ; 
so as not to didionour the religion of 
-Christy and so as not to injure Ste true 
happiness of others, or overturn the 
foundations of society. ^ But if thou 
mayett he free* If thou canet (iuf<tnu)^ 
if it is in your power to become free. 
That is, if your master or the laws set 
you free; or if you can purchase your 
freedom ; or if the laws can be changed 
in a regular manner. If freedom ea^ 
be obtuned in any manner that is not 
einfuL In many cases a Christian 
master might set his slaves free ; in 
others, perhaps,thelaws might doit; in 
some, perhaps^ the freedom of the slave 
might be porehased by a Christian 
friend. In all these instances it would 
be proper to embrace the opportunity 
of becoming free. The aqpostle does 
not speak of insuirection, and the 
whole scope of the passage is againat 
an attempt en their part to obtain free- 
dom by foree and violence. He mani- 
festly teaches them to remain in their 
condition, to bear it patiently and sub- 
missively, and in that relation to bear 
their hard lot with a Christian spirit, 
unless their freedom could be obtained 
without violenee and hhodahetL And 
the same duty is still binding. Evil as 
alaveiy is, ^d always evil, and only 
evil, yet the Christian religion requires 
patience, gentleness, ferbeiffanoe; not 
violence, war, insurrection, and blood- 
shed. Christianity would teach mas' 
tera to be kind, tender, and gentle ; to 
liberate their alaves, and to change the 
laws so that it may be done; tobe I'tis/ 
towards thoee whom they have held in 
bondage^ It would not teach the slave 
to rise on his master, and imbrue his 
hands in his blood; to break up the 
relations of society by violence ; or to 
dishonour his religion by the indulgence 
of the feelings of revenge and by mur- 
der. \ Ueeii rather. Avail yourselves 
of the privilege if you can, and be a 
freeman. T&ra are diMdvantages 
attending the condition of a alave, and 


32 For he that ifl eaUed in 
the Lordt being a senraniy is* 
Ibe Lord's ^freeman; likewise 


if you em escape firom them in a 
I«Qper manner* it is your privilege uid 
your duly to do it 

He that is called iy the Lord; he that 
becomes a Christian, t Being a Mr> 
aanf « A slave wheiL he is converted. 
^hthe Lor^s freeman, Marg. Madt 
fitt (<iUn\«u3^or). Is mannmittfid, 
made free, endowed with liberty by the 
Lord. This is designed evidoitly to 
comfinrt the heart of the^lave, and to 
make him contented with his condition ; 
and it is a most delicate, happy, and 
lender am^oment. The sense is this. 
* You are blessed with freedom from the 
bondage of an by the Lord. You woe 
£>rmerly a slave to sin, but now yon are 
liberated. That bondage was fiur move 
grievous and far more to be lamented 
than the bondage of die body. But 
from that long, grievous, and oppsessiTe 
servitude you are now free. Your con- 
dition, even though you are a slave, is 
frr better than it was belSDre; nay, you 
are now the true freeman, the freeman 
of the* Lord. Your spirit is free ; while 
those who aro not shews, and perhaps 
your own masters, aie even now under 
a more severe and odious bondage than 
yours. You should rejoice, therefi>re, 
in deHveranoe from the greater evil, and 
be glad that in the eye of Crod you ase 
legaided as hia freedman, and endowed 
by him with more valuable freedom than 
it would be to be delivered from the 
bondage under which vou are now 
placed. Freedom from sm is the high- 
est blessing that can be conferred on 
men ; and if that is yours, yon should 
little regard your external cireumstances 
in this life. You will soon be admitted 
to ihe eternal liberty ef the semte in 
gloiy, and will forget all your toite and 
privations in this world.' ^bChritfa 
mrvani. Isthe«An«(ia?x«c) of Christ; 
is bound to obey law, and to submit 
ImBsel^ as you are, to the auttionlar of. 

also he that i« calledt 
is * Christ's servant 
•23 Ye are bouf^t ' with a 

»Fliai6J8. IPstSUi. c C4J0. UPtBLl.liSklS. 

another. This loo is designed to pro- 
mote conteniment with Us lot, by the 
consideration that otf are bound to obey 
law ; that there is no such thing as ab^ 
solute independence; and that, ance 
law M to be obeyed, it is not degradation 
and ignoBuny to sntanit to those which 
God has imposed on us by his provs- 
dence m an humble sphere of life. 
Whether a freeman or a slave, we are 
bound to yield obedience to law, and 
everywhere must obey the laws of God. 
It M not, therefore, degradation to sub- 
mit to kU laws in a state of ssrvitude, 
though these laws come to us through 
m earthly master. In this respect, 
the slave and the freeman are on a 
level, as 60^ are required to submit 
to the laws of Christ; and, even if 
freedom could be obtained, there is no 
such thing as absolute independence. 
This is a very beautiful, delicate, and 
happy alignment; and perhaps no con- 
sidination could be urged that would be 
more adapted to produce contentment 
28. Ye are. bought with a jniee. 
Though you arft sbves to men, >et yon 
have bera porchased for God by the 
bloed of his Son. Note, ch. vi. 80. 
You are, therefoie, in his sight of ines- 
timable worth, and are bound to be his. 
^ Be not ye th€ aenante of mearu That 
iiii^ f Do not regard younehaee as the 
slaves or mkf. Even in your humble 
relation of life, even as servanto under 
the laws of the land, regard yourselves 
as the servanto of God, as obeying and 
serving him eoen in thie relation, since 
att those vrho are bought with « price-— 
all Christians, whether bond or free— 
aw in fed the servanto (slaves, ^ovxoi) 
of God. ver. 23. In this relation, 
therefore, estsem yourselves as the sep> 
vants of God, as bound by his laws, sc 
8ul:ject to him, and as really serving hfan, 
while you yield ell proper obedience to 
your master.' Rosenmiiller, GrotiQ% 
and some others, however, think that 



[A. D. 69k 

price ; be not ye the servants of 

24 Brethren, let * every man, 
wherein he is called, therein 
abide with God. 

this refers to ChnBtiaiui in general ; and 
that the apostle means to caution them 
against subjecting themselves to need- 
less rites and customs which the fidse 
teachers would impose onthem. Others 
have supposed (as Doddridge) that it 
means that they should not sell them- 
selves into slavery; but assuredly a 
caution of this kind was not needful. 
The view given above I regard as the 
interpretation demanded by the connex- 
ion. And in this view it would promote 
contentment, and would even prevent 
their taking any improper measures ' to 
disturb the relations of social life, by the 
high and solemn consideration that even 
m that relation they were, in common 
with all Christians, the true and real 
servants of God. They belonged to 
God, and they should serve him. In 
all things which their-masters command- 
ed, that were in accordance with the 
will of God, and that could be done 
with a- quiet conscience, they were to 
regard themselves as serving God; if at 
any time they were commanded to ,do 
that which God _ had forbidden, they 
were to remembcnr that they were the 
servants ot God, and that he was to be 
obeyed rather than man. 

24. Brethren, dec See Note, ▼. 20. 

25. Now corueming virgina. This 
commences the third subject on which 
the opinion of Paul seems to have been 
adied by the church at Corinth-— whe- 
ther it was proper that those who had 
unmarried daughters, or wards, should 
give them in- marriage. The reason 
why diis question was proposed may 
have been, that many in the church at 
Corinth were the advocates of celibacy, 
and this, perhaps, on two grounds. (1.) 
Some may have supposed that in the ex- 
istiog stete of things — the persecutions 
and trials to which Christians were ex- 
posed — ^it would be advisable that a man 

25 Now concerning virgins I 
have no cotnmandment ^ of the. 
Lord; yet I give my judgment, 
as one that hath obtained mercy 
of the Lord to be faithful. « 

b ver.6,10,40. c lTim.l.i2. 

who had unmarried daughters, or wards, 
should keep them Ir6m the additional 
cares and trials to which they would be 
exposed with a &mily ; and, (2.-^ Some 
may have already been the advocates 
for celibacy, and have maintained that 
that state was more favourable to piety, 
and was altogether to be preferred. It 
is known that that opinion had an early 
prevalence, and gave rise to the este- 
blishment of nuwneriea in the papal 
church ; anuopinion that has everywhere 
been attended with licentiousness and 
corruption. It is not improbable that 
there may have been advocates for this 
(^pinion even in the church of Corinth; 
and it was well, therefore, that the au- 
thority of an apostle should be employed 
to sanction and to honour the marriage 
union. \ I have no commandment, dec. 
No positive, express revelation. ■ See 
Notes on ver. 6. 10. ^ Yet I give my 
judgment, I give my opinion, or aj^ 
vice. See Note, ver. 6. ^ ^ one thai 
hath obtained mercy of the Lofd, As 
a Christian; one who has been par- 
doned, whose mind has been enlight- 
ened, and who has been endued with 
the grace of God. 1 To be faithfuL^ 
Faithful to my God. ^ As one who* 
would not give advice for any selfish, 
or mercenary, or werldly consideration^; 
as one known to act from a desire to 
honour God, and to seek the best inte- 
rests of the church, even though there 
is no explicit command. The advice 
of nteh a man— a devoted, fidthful, self^ 
denying, experienced Christian— is en- 
title to respectful deference, even where 
there is no claim to inspiration. Reli- 
^on qualifies to give sdvice ; and the 
advice of a man who has no selfish ends 
to gmtify, and who Is known to seek 
supremely the glory of God, should not 
be disregarded or slighted. Paul had a 
special claim to give this advice, beeattss 

A. D. 69.] 



26 I suppose therefore that 
this is good for the present * dis* 
tress ; / amf^ that'i^ i$ good for 
a man so to be. 

27 Art thoa bound unto a 
wife? seek not to be loosed. 

< or, nece$9Uy. a ver.l^ 

ha was the foander of the duuch at 

86. I aupwm* I think ; I give the 
fbHowiiig adyice. f For the preaent 
dUiren. In the preaent state of triaL 
The word ditiren {ufviytunt necemty) 
denotes caiamitjr, penecntion, trial, dee. 
See Luke xxL 33. The ivbfd nndered 
preaeni (fyw^rOMtv) denotes that which 
ur^et on, or that which at that time 
p r ei oc i on, or afflicts. Here it is im- 
plied, (1.) That at that time they were 
sabject to trials ao severe as to tender 
the advicr which he was about to give 
proper ; and, (2.) That he by no means 
meant that this should be a ptnnanmt 
arrangemmi in the church, and of 
eonrse it cannot be urged as an argu- 
ment for the monastic system. What 
the urgent diatnu of thw time was, is 
not certainly known. If the epistle was 
written about A. D. 69 (see the Intro- 
duction)» it was in the time of Nero ; 
and proiiably he had already begun !• 
oppress and persecute Christians. At 
ak events, it is evident that the Chris- 
tians at Corinth were subject to some 
trials which rendered the caies of the 
marriage life undesirable. \ It mgood 
fat a man so to be. The emphaais 
nectt is on the word so (wvm) ; &at is, 
it is best for a man to conduct in tie 
foUouring manner; the word ao refer- 
ring to ue advice whidi foUows. 'I 
adrise that he conduct in the following 
manner, to wit' Most eommentaloni 
suppose that it means aa he ia; ue, 
unmarried ; but the interpretatioa pro- 
posed above best suits the connexion. 
The advice given is in the following 

S7. Art thou bound unto a wife? 
Alt thou already married 1 Marriage is 
•Aen thus represented as a iie, a hondt 
4ec See Note, Rom. vii. 2. f Seek 

Art thoH loosed from a wife! 
seek not a wife. 

28 But and if thou marry, 
thou * hast not sinned ; and if a 
virgin marry, she hath not sin- 
ned. Nevertheless such shall 


nattahehmed Seek not a diaa o hH on 
(x&9w) of the connexion, either by di- 
vorce or by a separation from eadi 
other. See Notes oo ver. 10—17. 
1 Art thou looaed from a voife ? Ail 
thou unmarried 1 It should have been 
rendered free from a wife ; or art thou 
single 1 It does not imply of necessity 
that the person had been married, though 
it maif have that meaning, and signify 
those who had been separated firoin a 
wife by her death. There is no neeae> 
sity of supposing that Paul refen to 
persons who had divoroed their wivest 
So Grotius, Schleusner, Doddridge, Ac* 
S8. Thau haat not ainned, There is 
no express command of God on this 
subject The counsel which I give is 
mere adrice, and it may be observed or 
not as you shall judge best. Maniaga 
is honourable and lawful ; and though 
there may be drcumstanoee where it if 
adviaabk not to enter into this relatioii, 
yet there is no law wfaidi prohibilB it 
Tl^e same advice would be proper now, 
if it wen a time of persecution ; or if 
. a man i» poor, and cannot euppqyt a 
femily ; or if he has abeady a depend* 
ent mother and sisters to be supported 
by him, it woufll be well to foIW the 
advice of PauL So also when the eaies 
of a femily would take up a man's time 
and efforts ; when but fortius he might 
give himself to a missionary^ltfe, the 
voice of wisdom may be in aooordanoe 
vrith that of Paul ; that a man may be 
free firom these eaies, and may give 
himself vrith more undivided interest 
and mora sucoessfol toil to the salvia 
tien of man. f Sueh ahail haae 
troubk in thefts^. They shall have 
anxiety, care, solicitude, trials. Days 
of persecution are coming on, and yoQ 
may be led to the stake^ and in.thaoD 
fiery^tfiai% your femiUes may be tarn 


haTO troable in the flesh : but I 
spare you. 

29 But this I say, brethren, 

asimder, and a part be put to death. 
Or you may be poor, and oppressed, 
and driven from your homes, and made 
wanderers and exiles, for the sake of 
your religion. 5 But I apart you. I 
will not dwell on the melancholy 
theme. I will not pain your hearts by 
describing the woes that shall ensue.^ I 
will not do any thing to deter you 
from acting as you deem right. If yon 
choose io marry, it is lawful ; and I 
will not imbitter your joys and harrow 
up your feelings by the description of 
your future difficulties and trials. The 
word Jleah here demotes outward cir- 
enmstances in contradistinction from 
the mind. They might have peace of 
mind, fi>r reUgion would fumuh that ; 
but they would be exposed to poverty, 
persecution, and calamity. 

29. But this J 8ay, Whether you 
•le married or not, or in whatever con- 
dition of life you may be, I would 
lemind you that life hastens to a dose, 
•nd that its grand business is to be 
|irepared to die. It matters little in 
what condition or rank of life we aiw, 
if we are ready to depart to another 
and a better world. H 'lifetime is short. 
The time is eoniraeted, drawn into a 
narrow apace (wnTrdkfAhot), The 
word which is here used is commonly 
applied to the act of furling a sail, t. e. 
fedudng it into a narrow compass; 
and is £en appUed to any thing that is 
leduced within narrow limits. Perhaps 
there was a rrference here to the fiict 
that the time was ^aoniraded, or made 
short, by their impending persecutions 
and trials. But it is always equally 
true that time is sh(Nrt It will soon 
glide away, and come to a close. The 
idea of the apostle here is, that the plans 
of life should all be 'formed in view 

of this truth, THAT TnCB IS SHORT. 

No plan should be adopted which 
does not contemplate this ; no engage- 
neiit of life made when it ^Htt not be 

[A. D. 69. 

the time * is short.: it remaineth 
that both they that have wives 
be as though they had none ; 

a lFet.47. 2p6t.a8|9.i 

appropriate to think of it^ no connex- 
ion entered into when the thought 
" time is short," would be an unwel- 
come intruder. See 1 Pet iv. 7. 2 Pet \ 
iiL 8. 9. \ n remaineth (to xewdy). 
The remainder is ; or this is a conse- 
quence from this consideration of Ihe 
shortness of time. H Bt^h they tha^ 
have wivea, dx. This does not mean 
that they are to treat them with un« 
kindness or neglect, or feil in tfaa^utiea 
of love and fidelity. It is to be taken, 
in a general sense, that they were to 
live above the world; that they were 
not to be unduly attached W th6°>> 
tibat they were to be ready to part with 
t^em; and that they should not su£fet 
attachment to thuem to interfere with 
any duty which they owdtt to €rod. 
They were in a world of trial ; and 
they were exposed to persecution ; ad^ ^ 
as Christians they were bound to live 
entirely to God, and they ought not, 
therefore, to allow attachment to earth- 
ly friends to alienate their affection* 
from God, or to interfere with theiY 
Christian dul^. In one word, they 
ought to be just as faithful to God, ^ 
and Just as pious, in every respect, aa 
if they had no wife and^ no earthly 
friend. Such a consecration to God 
is difficult, but not igipossible. Our 
earthly attachments and cares draw 
away our a£fections from God, but they 
need not do it Instead of being the 
occasion of aUenating our affectians 
from God, they should be, and they 
might be, the means of binding ua 
more firmly and entirely to him and t4) 
his cause. But alas, how many pro* 
fessing Christians Eve for their wivea 
anid children only, and not for God 
in these relations ! how many suffer 
these earthly objects of attachment to 
alienate their minds from God, rather 
than make them the occasion of vnitinf 
them more tenderiy to him and hii 

A.D. 59.] 



30 And they that weep, as 
though they wept not ; and they 
that rejoice, as though they re- 

80. And ihty thai weep. They 
who are afflicted. \ As though tha/ 
wept not. Restraining and moderat- 
ing thek grief by the hope of the life to 
etne. T%e generai idea in aU these 
expresnons m, that in whatever situa- 
tion Christians are, they should be dead 
t^ih^ world, and not improperly affect* 
ed by passing events. It is impofisible 
for human nature not to feel when per- 
secutedy maligned, slandered, or when 
near eothly friends are taken away. 
But religion will calm the troubled 
spirit ; pour oil on the agitated waves; 
light up a smile in die midst of tears ; 
cause th^^beams of a calm and lovely 
morning to rise on the anxious heart ; 
nienoe the commotions of the agitated 
soul, and" pWrauce joy even in the 
BiidBt of-gbrrow. Religion will keep 
us from immoderate grief, and sustain 
the socA even when in distress nature 
forces us to shed the tear of mourning. 
Christ sweat great drops of blood, and 
Christians often weep; but the heart 
may be calm, peaceful, elevated, confi- 
dent in God in the darkest night and the 
severest tempest of calamity, f And 
they that refoiee. They that are hap- 
py ; they that are prospered ; that have 
beloved families around them ; that are 
blessed with success, with honour, 
with esteem, with healtlh They that 
have occasion of rejoicing and grati- 
tude. ^ As though they rejoiced not, 
Not T^oicing with excessive or im- 
moderate joy. Not with riot or unholy 
mirth. Not satisfied with these things; 
though they may rejoice in them. Not 
forgetting that they must soon be left ; 
but keeping the mind in a calm, serious, 
settled, thoughtful state, in vTew of the 
fact that all these things must soon 
eome to an end. O how would this 
thought silence die voice of unseemly 
mirth! How would it produce calm- 
ness, serenity, heavenly joy, where is 
now often unhallowed ^iot; and true 
pssoe, where now there is only forced 

joiced not ; and they that buy, 
as though they possessed not ; 
31 £id they that use this 

and IxMsterous revelry ! H As though 
they possessed not. It is right to bay 
and to obtain property. But it should 
be held with the conviction that it is 
by an uncertain tenure, and must sooa 
be left. Men may give a deed that 
shall secure from their fellow men; 
but no man can give a title that shall 
not be taken away by death. Our 
lands and houses, our stocks and 
bonds and mortgages, our goods and 
chattels, shall soon pass into bther 
hands. Other men will plough our 
fields, reap our harvests, work in our 
shops, stand at our counters, sit down 
at our firesides, eat on our tables, lie 
upon our beds. Odiers will occupy 
our places in society, have our ofiicei^ 
sit in our seats in the sanctuary. 
Others will take possession of our gold, 
and appropriate it to their own use; 
and ufe shall have no more interest 
in it, and no more control over 4t, 
than our neighbour has now, and no 
power to eject the man that has taken 
possession of our houses and our lands. 
Secure therefore as^ our titles are, safe 
as are our investments, yet how soon 
shall we lose all interest in them by 
death ; and how ought.this consideration 
to induce us to live above the world, and 
to secure a treasure in that world where 
no thief approaches, and no moth cor- 

31. And they that use this worUL 
That make a necessary and proper 
use of it to furnish raiment, food, 
clodiing, medicine) protection, &c. It 
is right so to use the world, for it 
was made for these purposes. Th«. 
word using here refers to the lawful 
use of it (xt^f*"^)' 1 -^ ^ol abusing 
it (xseTflt;^gw^iyM). The preposition 
M,*r3L, in composition here has -the 
sense of too much, too freely, and is 
taken not merely in an intensive sense, 
but to denote evil, the abuse of the 
world. It means that we are not to 
vm it to excess ; we are not to make it 



[A, D. 69» 

world, as not ftb^ing ii: for the 
fashioa * of this world passeth 

32 But I would haye you 
without carefulness. He that is 

a Pfek a»4. JaiB0i414. 1F«.4J. UiM».SJ7. 

a mere matter of indulgences, or to 
make that the main object and purpose 
of our livingr. We are not to give our 
iq^petites to indulgence ; our Iwdies to 
riot; our days and nights to feasting 
tfid revelry, f For the faehion of 
tkU world (to ^»ftsuy The form, the 
appearance. In IJohn ii. 17, it is 
said that '* the world passeth away and 
the lust thereof.*' The word <'&shion" 
here is probaUy taken from the shifip 
ing scenes of the drama; where, when 
the scene changes, the imposing and 
splendid pageantiy passes o£ The 
form, the fiishion of the world is 
like a splendid, glided pageant. It 
is unreal and illusive. It continues 
but a little time ; and soon the scene 
changes, and the iashion that allured 
and enticed us now passes away, and 
we pass to other scenes. 5 Passeth 
away (irti^aym). Passes off like the 
q^endid, gaudy, shifting scenes of the 
stage. What a striking description of 
the changing, unstable, and unreal 
pageantry of this world ! Now it is 
gay, splendid, gorgeous, lovely ; to-mor- 
row it is gone, and is succeeded by 
new actors and new-acenes. Now 
all is busy with one set of actors ; to- 
morrow a new craapany appears, and 
again they are succeeded by anoth«r, 
and all are. engaged in scenes that are 
equally changing, vain, gorgeous, and 
delusive. A similar idea is presented 
in the well known and beautiful de- 
scription of the great Britbh dramatist. 

** All the world's a stage, 
And all the men and women merely players. 
They have their exits and their entrances, 
And one man in his time plays many parts." 

If such be the character of the 
scenes in which we are engaged, how 
little should we fix our auctions en 
them, and how anxioiis should we be 

unmarried * careth for the things 
that ^ belong to the Lord, how 
he may please the Lord :^ 
. 33 But he that is married 
careth for the things that are of 

b lTinL5.S. » qfthe Lordf as vsr. 34. 

to be prepared ion the real and tm* 
changing scenes of another wotld ! 

32. BtU IwoM haspe you, I would 
advise you to such a course of Ufe 
as shoulJ* leave you without careful- 
ness. My advice is regulated by that 
wish, and that vnA guides me in giv- 
ing it 1 Without earefubiess ('ifiuti" 
^wof). Without anxiety, solicituM^ 
care; without such a necessuy at- 
tention to the thinga of this life as to 
take off your thoughto and Sflectimis 
from heavenly objects. See Notes on 
Matt. vL 26—31. 1 Careth for the 
things that belong to the Lord, Maig. 
** The things^of £e Lord"; the things 
of religion. His attention is not dia- 
ti:acted by the cares of this life ; his 
time is ^ot engrossed, and his afleo- 
tions alienated by an attendance on the 
concerns of a fiunily, and especially by 
solicitude for them in times of trial 
and persecution. He can give his main 
attention to the things of religion. He 
is at leisure to give his chief thoughts 
and anxieties to the advancement 
of the Redeemer's kingdom. Paul's 
own example showed that this was the 
course which he preferred ; and showed 
also that in some instances it was law* 
ful and proper for a man to remain 
unmarried, and to give himself entirely 
to the work of &e Lord. But tfai 
divine commandment (Gen. i. 28), 
and the commendation everywhere 
bestowed upon marriage in the Scrip- 
tures, as well as the nature of the case, 
show that it was not designed thai 
odibacy should be general. 

83. Careth for the things of the 
world, U under a necessity of giving 
attention to the things pf the world ; or 
caimot give his undivided attention and 
interest to the things efreHgion. Thia 
would be especially true in times of 


Ae wotld, hoT 1)0 mt}' pli 
hit wife. 
'34 Time u difference o/fo-be- 

, 1 Hotii he maypleiue hit 

"Kife. HoiT he msf gntifj her ; hair 
he ms; scconunodUe himHlf to her 
tMnper and vidies, to make her hippy. 

o would b« __ 
fronld be to uuuoui to gnli^ bU wife, 
•■ to inlerfera nilh lui direct religion! 
dntiea. Thi> ma; be done Id nsn; 
w%y. (MTheq^cffoiMinijbeUken 
cff from Uts Lotd, and bestoned up 
liw wi&, £X« may become the obji 
of erao, in^Kopet attachment, and m 
take the pUce of God ia the afisctioi 
(S.) lie ftmc may be taken up in de- 
«otn>n to her, which ihonld be gixen to 
Mcrot prayer, and to the dntiee of reti- 
^n. (3.) Bhe may demand hii todtty 
and aitention when be cngbt to be 
MIgaged in doing good to othen, and 
widaaTOUiing to advance the kingdom 
ti Cbriat (4.) She may be gty and 
ftdiionaUe, and may l^d hun into 
hnproper eipanaii, into a Myle of living 
that iQay be nnniitaUe for a GhriHian, 
and into society where hii pie^ will be 
injar«d, and bu devotion to Q«d len- 
•ned; or, (K.) She niay havo emmeoua 
opniona on me doctrinii sod duliea of 
nligioii; andadedralopleaM her may 
lead turn inaenriUj to modify hk viewe, 
woA ia adopt more lax otuniona, and to 
piir¥ae a more lax coone of life in his 
reUgioni dutiec Many a hnrtand haa 
diaa been injnred by a gay, thon^ttleaa, 
•nd imprudent wifb ; and though thai 
wi& may be a Chriitian, yet her eonrw 
may be mch a> >hall gnwlty retard his 
growth in grace, and mar the beauty of 
hia {uely. 

84. Betuxtn a xeife oTut a drgin. 
Between a woman that ia maiiled and 
one that i> unmarried. The aporfla 
M7> that a similar diffiirence between 
■ that it married and 
d'lakei place, which 
Mtween the manied 
mm. Ilie Greek 

Ibinga of th&Lord, that she maj 
divided, and be rendered, " the wiia and 

in tiieii case >a eiiits between the mar- 
ried and the nnmairieJ man. T Th« 
unmarried woman, &e fiaa more ad- 
Tantagea for attending- to the tfiinga of 
religion ; has fewer temptationi to neg^* 
led ber proper duty to God. 1 Both 
in body and in jpm'f. BntiTely holy ; 
that she may be entirely devoted to Ood, 
Pcriiaps in her cue the apoatle menliana 
the " body," which he had not done in 
the case c^ the man, becaoae her lemp. 
latian would be piindpatly in regard to 
that — the dangrar of endeavouring to 
decorate and adorn her penon lo pleaa* 
her hmband. 1 Ibm the mojf pkat 
/ler hueband. Tiw apoaUe here mlenda^ 
nndonbtedly, to intimate ttat there wen 
dangers to peratmri ^ety in the married 
life, wfaidt would not occur in a atala 
of celibaicy ; and that the nnmanried fi>- 
mde wonld have greater opportonitie* 
for devotion and UBefiilneaa Hum if 
married. And be intimates thai th« 
married female would be in danger of 
losing her seal, and marrii^ her piety, 
by atlentiMi to het husband, and by a 
conatant eflbrt to pleaae lum. Smna 
of the waya in wfaidi Hot might b* 
done are the fbllowing. (1.) Aa in 
the former case(Ter. %),herii^(ielv»i« 
tnigbt be transferred from God lo the 
partner of her nfe. (B.) Her time wiD 
be occupied by an attention to him and 
to his wiH' ; uld there- wonld be danger 
that that atlenlioiT wonU be rilowed la 
inlerfbre with her hour* of aeeiet tettr»- 
ment and commludMi *ith God. (3.) 
Her time will be necesaarily broken in 
upon by the caret of a bmily, and ahs 
■houM therefore guard with peculiar 
vigilance, that ihe may rtdeem lime lot 
t communion with Ood. (4.) The 
which ahe before gave to beiwTO- 
lenliriiisct^niaynowbegivento jleua 
her hnaband. Before her marriage iba 




he holy both in body and in spi« 
yii: but she that is married* 
«aretb for the things of the world» 

wid for active effijrte 'in eveiy plan of 
doing go0d ; subsequently, she may lay 
aside this zeal, and withdraw from these 
plans, and be as tittle distinguished as 
others. (5.) Her piety may be greatly 
kijured by fiilse notions of what should 
be done to {Please her husbands If he 
IB a worldly and fashionable man, she 
may seek to please him by *< gold, and 
pevis, and costly array." Instead of 
cultivating the ornament of ''a meek 
and quiet Spirit," her main wish may 
be to decorate her person, and render 
herself attractive by the adorning of her 
perton rather than of her ntineL (6.) 
fr he is opposed to religion, or if he has 
lax opinions on the subject, or if he is 
skeptical and worldly, she will be in 
danger of relaxing in her views in re- 
gard to the strictness of Christtanityy 
and of becoming conformed to his. She 
will iasensiUy become leu strict in 
regard to the Sabbath, the Bible, the 
prajer meeting, the Sabbath-school, the 
plans of Chnstian benevolenoe, the 
doetrinea of the gospeL (7.) To please 
him, she will be found in the gay circle, 
>«— perhaps in the assembly room, or 
•ven the theatre, or amidst companies 
of gayety and amusement, and will 
ftargei that she is professedly ddvoted 
only to God. And, (8.) She is in 
danger, as the result of all this, of for- 
infrinf her old religious friends, the 
oompanions of purer, brighter days, the 
humble and devoted fiiends of Jesus ; and 
of seeking society among the gay, the 
Kich, the proud, the worldly. Her piety 
tfiBs is injured; she becomes worldly 
and vain, and leas and less like Christ ; 
Until Heaven, periiaps, in mercy smites 
her idol, and he dies, and leaves her 
•gain to the Uessedness of single-hearts 
ed devotion to God. O ! how many a 
Chriatian female has thus been ii^uied 
tgr an uidiappy maRiage with a gay and 
taarldly man! How often htm tiie 
dumk oocawn to mourn oper piety 

how she maj please her hm- 
36 And this I speak for your 

that is dimmed, benevolence that is 
quenched, zeal that is extinguished by 
devotion to a gay and worldly hus- 
band ! How often does humble piety 
weep over such a scene ! How often 
does the cause of sacred charity sigh! 
How often is the Redeemer wounded 
in the house of his friends ! And O 
how often does it become kscxspab^ 
for God to interpose, and to remove 
by death the object of the affection of 
his wandering child, and to cloths 
her in the habiliments of mourning 
and to bathe her cheeks in team, that 
*'by the sadness of the countenance 
her heart may be made better." Who 
can. tell how many a widow is made 
such from this cause ; who can tell how 
much religion is injured by thus stealing 
away the aflfoctions from God 1 

35. For your awn profit. That yon 
may avail yourselves of all your advaa* 
tages and privileges, and pursue such a 
coimw as shall tend most to advance 
your personal piety and salvation. '^ Noi 
that I may east a snare upon you. 
The word rendered mare i^^cv) 
means a cord, a rope, a bond ; and the 
sense is, that Paul would not bind theoa 
by any rule which God had not made * 
or that he would not restrain them fron> 
that which, is lawful, and which th 
welfere of society usually requires. Paul 
means, that his object in his advice wa» 
their wel&re ; it waa not by any means 
to bind, fetter, or restiaia them fVom pxty 
course which would be for their real 
hiqilHnesa^ but to promote their real and 
permanent advantage. The idea which 
is here preaented by the word more, is 
usually conveyed by the use of the word 
yoke (Matt xL 29. Acts xv. 10. GaL 
V. 1), and sometimes by tbe word bur^ 
den. Matt, xxiii. 4, Acts xv. 29. 
Y But fir that wki^ i$ comely (Ww 
/tftoy). Decorous, fit, proper, Bobie. rixc 
that which is hoAiUtedio your present 
oonditioiiy and which, on the whids 

iu D* 59.1 



own pvoitt; not that I may cast, 
a snare upon you, but for that 
^ich k comely, and that ye 
may attend npon the Lord with- 
out distraction. 

36 But if any man think that 
he behaveth himself uncomely 

wffl be teal, ai|d most lor your own 
ttdvantags. There would be a fitneH 
«nd propriety in their pmmuBg the 
ooureewhich he reeommended. ^ ThaA 
jfe mai^ tUtmd on the Lord, That 
yen may engage in lefigiocie dntiee and 
flen« God* 1 Without duiraeUon* 
Without being drawn away (affi^gtrsrct- 
#«ar); wifiiottt care, kiterroption^ and 
anxiety. That you may be free to en- 
g^ with undivided interest in tibe ae^ 
inee of the Lord. 

wmefy. Acts an unbeeomlng part, ira- 

CiB an nnneoeaeaiy, pwifol, and 
ropes' oonetramt, cresses her ineiina- 
tioBs which are in themselves proper, 
f Ibwatd kie virgin. His daughter, 
er his ward, at any uBmarried female 
eommitted to hie care, 'y If the pan 
^Jhwer of her age* If me pass the 
Bkaniageable age and remains unynar- 
ried) It is wdl Imown that in die 
east it was regarded as peeaharly dfi»> 
h^ioumble to remain unmarried ; and 
tile authority of a lather, therefore, 
imght be the meane of involving his 
daughter in shame and disgrace. 
When thb would be the case, it would 
he vrrong to prohibit her marriage. 
^ And need so regtiire. And she 
ought to be allowed to marry. If it 
will promote her happiness, and if she 
wouUI be unhappy, and regarded as 
dish<moured, if she remained in a state 
d celibacy. ^ Let him do what he 
wilL He has the authority in the case, 
for in the east the authority resided 
with the fother. He may either give 
her in marriage or not, as he pl ea s es . 
But in this ease it is advisable diat she 
shouM marry. ^ He tinneth not. He 
eruB not ; he vrill do nothing positively 
wrangin the case. Marriage is law- 

toward his Tiigiiii if the pass ibm 
flower of her ag(6, and need so 
require, let hun do what ho will* 
he sinneth not ; let them marry. 
97 Nerertheless he that itand* 
eth steadfast in bis heart, having 
no necessity, but hath power 

he may consent to it, for the 

above stated, without ertor or impro* 


87. Nnerthek99. But. Theapoate 
in this verse states some inetances when 
it would not be projper to give a 
4|Ughter in marriage j and the verae it 
a kind af summing up of aU that he 
had said on the subject. 1 That Mtand- 
eth ateadfitgt in hie hearth dte.. Moat 
commentatom have widerstood this 
cf the &ther of the virgin, and su^ 

86. 'That he hehaioeth himeelf un^ pose that it refom to his purpose qf 

keeping her from the aiarriage connex- 
ion. The phrase to stand steadfast, is 
opposed to a disposition that is vadk 
lating, unsettled, dec, and denotes a 
man who has command of himself 
who adheies to his purpose, a man wha 
has hitherto adhered to his purpose^ 
and to whose happiness and reputation 
it is important that he should be known 
as one who is not vacillating, or eerily 
moved. % HamngnoneeeeaUy. Where 
there is nothing in her disposition or 
inclination that would make marriage 
neceseary, or when there is no engage" 
ment or obHgatum that would be^»* 
lated if she did not many. ^ But 
hath power ooer hie own wilL Hedi 
power to do as he pleases ; is not bound 
in the case by another. When there 
is no engagement, or eontraet, mode 
in childhood, or promise made in eariy 
life that would bind him. Often 
daughters were eqxH}sed, or promised 
when they were very young, and m 
such a case a man would be bound to 
a&ere to his engagement ; and muA 
as he might deeire ^e reverse, and her 
celibacy, yet he would not have power 
over his own will, or be at liberty to 
withhold her. t -^^ ^^ ^ deeroed 
in' hia heart. Has so judged, detee- 
raine^f resohred- 1 TM h§ wiU katp 



[A. D. 59W 

mw hifl own wQl, said haih so 
decreed in his heart that he will 
keep his virgin, doeth well. 

88 So then, ' he that giveth 
her in marriage- doeth well; but 


ki$ virgin. His daughter, or ward, in 
an unmarried state. He has pcuver 
and authority to do it,andif he does 
it he will not on. Y Voeth welL In 
«i^ier of these cases, he does well If 
he has a daughter, and chooses to re- 
tain her in an immanied elate, he does 
well or right ^ 

38. Xhdh wdL Does right; ido- 
lates no law in it, and is not .to be 
Uamed for it. \ Doeth better. Does 
tbat wldch is on the mhxAe to be pre- 
ened, if it can begone. He more oei>? 
lainly, in the present circamstanoes, 
consults her happiness by withholding 
her from the maniage connexion than 
he could bjr allowing her to enter it 

39. Thi wife m hwnd, 4k, &f» 
Kotes^Rom. YiL 2. 1 Oniy in the 
Lord. That is, only to one who is a 
Christian ; with a proper sense of her 
obligations to Christ, and so as to pro- 
mote his glory. The apostle supposed 
that could not be ik>ne if she were al- 
lowed to many a heathen, or one of a 
different religion. The same-sentiment 
he advances in 2 Cor. vi, 14, and it 
was his intention, undoubtedly, to af> 
firm that it was jaroper for a widow to 
marry no one who was not a Christian. 
The reasons at that time would be 
obvious. (1.) They could hava no sym- 
pathy and fellow feeling on the most 
important of all sutijec^, if the one 
was a Christian and the other a 
heathen. See 2 Cor. v|. 14, 15, dec 
(2.) If she should marry a heathen, 
would it not be showing that she had 
not as deep a conviction of the import- 
tnce and truth of her religion as she 
(^ught to havel If Christians were 
raquired to be *< separate," to be ** a pe- 
eoliar people," not " to be conformed to 
tiie world," how could these precepts 
be obeyed if the society of a heathen 
was voluntaiily chosen, and if she be- 

he that givedi her not in mar* 
riage doeth better. 

d9 The wife ^ is bound by ^e 
law as long as her husband liveth; 
but if her husband be dead, she is 


came united to him for fifel (3.) She 
would in. this way greatly hmMr her 
ttsefolnesa; pat horself in the control 
oi one who had no respect for her 
religion, and who would d^nand her 
time and attention, end thus inteifeia 
with her attendance on the public and 
private duties of religion, and the offices 
of Christian charity. (4.) She would 
thus greatly endanger her piety. There 
would bedttiger from the oppositioi|i» 
the taunts, the sneers of the enemy of 
Christ; from the secret influence of 
Uving with a man who had no resgeei 
for God ; from his introducing her mte 
society that was irreligious, and that 
would tend to mar the beauty of her 
pietgr, and to ^raw her eway f roai sinh 
ple^earted devotion to Jesus Christ 
And 'do not these reawne B.pp]y to simi- 
lar cases now ? And if so, is it not the 
law still binding? Do not such unions 
now, as really as they did then, place 
the Christian where there is no mutual 
■ympathy on the subject dearest to the 
Christian heart? Do they not show 
that she who forms such a union has 
not as deep a sense^^ the -importance 
of piety, and ef the pure and holy na» 
ture of her religion as she oug^t ta 
have? Do they not take time fronr 
God and from charity ; break up plana 
of usefulness, and lead away from the 
society of Christians, and from tha 
duties of religion ? Do th^ not expose 
often to ridicule, to reproach, to pers^* 
cution, to contempt, and to pain ? Do 
they not often lead into society, by 
a desire to please the partner in life^ 
where there is no religion, where God 
is excluded, where the name of Christ 
is never heard, and where the piety is 
marred, and the beauty of simple Chris* 
tian piety is dimmed 1 And if so, are 
not such marriages contrary to the law 
(tf Christ? I coafeaiy that this veise, to 





8t Kberty to be imiried to whom 

Ae will ; only * in the Lord. 
40 But she is happier if she 


Mf view, provw that allfloch manriages 
tn a violalion «f the New Teatament; 
and if they are, they ■hooid nol oa any 
plea be entered into; and it will be 
4band, in perhapa nearly tM Inatanoea, 
ttafc they are diaaatrona to the piety oi 
ihd marned Chriatian, and the oeeaaon 
of ultimate regret, and the canae of a 
leaa of comfort, peaoe^ and naefulneia 
in the married life. 

AX^» If the 90 abide. If ahe remain 
a widow even if ahe ooald be married 
to a Chrirtian. t ^fier my judgment. 
In my opinion, ver. 25. \ And I 
Maeknight and othera aappoae that thia 
phraae impliea entire certainty; and 
tiiat Pan! meana to affirm that in thia 
he waa dear that he waa onder the in* 
finance of inapiration. He appeala for 
die nae of the term {imiSt) to Mark z. 
9SL LokeviiLlS. 1 Ck>r. it. 9 ; viii. 8 ; 
)a. 16. Heb. iv. 1, dec. But the word 
doaa not nanally ezpreaa abaolute oet- 
tainty. It impliea a donbt; though 
ttMre msBBj be a alrong pereoaaion or 
eanvifltion ; or the beat jndgmant whidi 
the nund can form in the caae. Sea 
Matt vi. 7 ; ZZTL 63. Mark tl 49. 
Lake viii. 18 ; z. 36 ; ziL 61 ; ziiL 84; 
kzii.M. Acta zviL 18 ; zzT. 37. iCor. 
^ri 12. 22, dec. It impliea here a be- 
fief tliai Panl waa under the infloence 
Of the infoUtble Spirit, and that hia ad- 
nee waa aoch aa accorded with the 
will of God. Peihapa he aUttdea to the 
iKt that the teachera at Corinth 
d e e m ed themeaiiFea to be under the 
Infloence of inqpicatiott, and Paul moA. 
Iliat he judged ah» of himaelf that he 
waa divinely gnidad «id diradad in 
what he aakU-'CaMi. And.aaPaidia 
^daeonld net be mialaken ; aa hie im- 
wnedon that ha waa under the 
•Stooeof that Spirit WW, m fobt, a 
"fa divma iMpiratian, ao thb ndfito 


ao abidey aftei * my jndgaMiUsi 
and I think ' also tlwt I have the 
Spirit of Gh)d. 

hyeta&. c8P0tS.lS,16. 

ity, and aa bmding on alL Thia inter- 
pretation ia further demanded fay the 
cucomatanoea of the caae. It wpa 
neceieary that he ahould aaMrt divine 
authority to counteract the teaching 
of the folae inatructeni in Corinth; 
and that he ahould jaterpoae thataii- 
thwity in preacribing rulea for the 
government of the choaeh there, ia 
▼iew ef the peeuUar ftemptationa ta 
wliich they were ezpoaed. 

We learn froi^ thia chapter, 
lat The aacredneaa of the marriage 
union ; and the natnre of the feeliogp 
with which it ahould be entered, ver. 1— 
13. On a moat delicate aubject Paul haa 
ahown a leriouaneaa and delicacy of 
ezpieapjon which can be found in no 
other writings, and whidi demonatcate 
how pure hk own mind waa, and how 
much it waa filled with the Umx of God. 
In all thinga hia aim ia to promote 
purity, and to keep finom the Christian 
chureh the innumerable evila which 
eveiywhesB abounded in the pagan 
wodd. The marriage connezion ahould 
be formed in the foar of Grod. In all 
that union, the partiea ahould aeek tha 
aalvation of the aoul; and ao live aa not 

todiahffnffwr th ^ reliaion which than 

2d. The duty of labouring eameitJj 
for the oonvernon of the party in 
the marriage connezion that may be a 
atmnger to piety, ver. 16. Thia oi^ecft 
ahould lie very near the heart; and it 
ahould be aought by all the meana pj» 
dUe. By a pure and holy lifo; by e& 
empii^ing the nature of the goapd; bf 
tandieineaa ef cenvenation and of ei^ 
tMaty; «Bd by fidelity in all the dutiea 
ef liie, wa ahould aeak the converaion 
and aalvation of our partnera in tha 
mmiage'eonnezion. Even if both are 
Chriatiana, thia gnat objeiot ahould V 
aw «f canatwil aoliaitiida^-to advange 




fte pi6lj and pRnnota the ngefohiMi 
•f the partner in lift* 

dd. The duty of contentment in the 
ipheie of life in which we are placed, 
▼er. 18, dec. It IB no disgrace to he 
poor, for Jesus chose to he poor. It is 
no disgraecy though it is a caianiity» to 
be a suve. It is no diagrace to be in an 
humble rank of life. It is disgraceful 
only to be a ainner, and to murmur 
and lepme at our aUotraent Qod 
mders bxe dreumstances of our life; 
and ihej are well ordered when under 
tiie direction of his hand. The great 
object should bp to do right in the rela- 
tion which we sustain in life. K'poor, 
to be industrious, submissive, lesigned, 
virtuous ; if rich* to be grateful, bene- 
▼olent, kind. If a slave or a servant, 
to be fidthful, kind, and obedient ; using 
liberty, if it can be lawfully obtained ; 
resigned, and calm, and gentie, if by the 
pvovidenoe of €rod such must continue 
to be the lot in life. 

4th. The duty of preserving the order 
and regularity of society, ver. 26 — ^29. 
The design <xf the gospel is not to pro- 
duce insubordination or irregularity. It 
would not break up society ; does not 
dissolve the bonds of social life ; but it 
cements and sanctifies the ties which 
connect us with those around us. It is 
designed to promote human happiness; 
and thai is promoted, not by resolving 
society into its wiginal elements; not 
hy severhdg the marriage tie, as atfaeists 
iwM do ; not by teaching cfaildien to 
diaregaid and desfHse their parents, or 
the common courtesies of life, but by 
leaching them to maintain inviolate all 
fiiese relations. Religion promotes the 
Interests of podetyt it does not, lUce 
infidelily, dissolve them. It advances 
the cause ci social ^rtue ; it does not, 
fike atheism, retard and anaflulato it. 
Every Chifatfan becomes a bettor ptt- 
lent, a mere affectionate child, a kmder 
fiiend, A more tender husband ^.wife, 
ft more Und neigfalb ou r, a better mem- 
ber bf Ae oommonily* 

(Hh. Change m a man^a -eafibg 
Should not he made from « slight cause. 
A Ofarialiai dioold not inaki it imlaw 

his fewer coping were wrong, or unliiii 

he can by it extnid his own usefulness. 
But when that can be done, he should 
do it, and do it without delay. If the 
course is wrong, it should be forthwith 
abandoned. No consideration can mako 
it right to continue it for a day or an 
hour : no matter what may be the sacri- 
fice of property, it should be done. U 
a man is engaged in the slave-trade, or 
in smuggUng goods, or in piracy, or 
highway robbery, or in the manu&,dxiio 
vjoA sale of poison, it should be at <moO 
and for ever abandoned. And in Ilka 
manneiv if a young man who is con* 
verted can increase hie usefiilness by 
changing his plan of life, it should be 
done as soon as practicable. If by be* 
coming a minister of the gospel he can 
be a more useful ^pian, every considera- 
Uon demands that he should leave /oi^ 
other professi<m, however lucrative or 
pleasant, and submit ^ the self^enialii^ 
the cares, the trials, and the toils whicji 
attend a life devoted to Chiist in^tho 
mtnistry-^n Christian or pagan lands; 
Though it ahould be attended widi 
poverty, want, tears, toil, or shame, yet 
the single question is, ' Can I be mora 
useful to my Master tbeie tlian in my 
pnsent vocation 1* If he can be, that 
is an indication of the will of God 
which he cannot diszegaid with ioh 

6th. We ahoald five above thia 
world, ver. 29, 30. We should paiw 
take of all our pleasures, and endure afl 
our sufioings, with the deep feeling 
thi^ we have here no continuing city 
and no abiding, place. Soon aU. ov 
earthly pleasures wiU fede away ; soon 
all our earthly aonows will be ended. 
A conviction of ^ ahoitness df lift 
wffl tend much to raguiate our desisea 
fer earthly comforts, and vrill keep lu 
from being improperiy attached to them; 
and it wiU dinunish one sorrows by the 
prospect that they will soon end. 

TUi. We should not be inunodaratdy 
afiBeted with grieU ver. 30. It will all 
soon end, in regard to Chriatiaiis^ 
Whether our team arise ttom die coi^ 
aciowDMB of our sins or the m» of 

A.!>. 69.] 



otliitB; whedinr firem pMMcataon or 
oonteBQpt of the world; or whether 
from the loes of health, property, or 
friends, we should hear it all patiently, 
for it will soon end ; a few days, and 
all will be over ; and the kui tear shall 
fell on our cheeks, and the last stg^ he 
headed from our bosom. 

8th. We should not be immodente 
fai our joy. ver. 30. Our highest earthly 
joys will soon 'cease. Mirth, and~&e 
sound of the harp and &e iaol, the loud 
laugh and the song wiH soon dose. 
What a change should this thought 
make in a world of gayety, and mirth, 
and song! It shotdd not make men 
gloomy and morose; but it diould 
make them serious, calm, thoughtfuL 
O, did all feel that death was near, 
that the solemn realities of eternity 
were approaching, what a change 
tvould it make in a gay and thought- 
less world! How wotdd it dose the 
theatre and the ball-room ; how wovld 
k silence the jest, the jeer, and the loud 
laugh; and how would it diffuse seri- 
ousness and 'Calmness over a now gay 
and thoughtless world! *< Laughter is 
mad,** says Solomon ; uid in a world 
of nn, and sorrow, and death, assuredly 
seriousness and calm contemplation aro 
demanded by every consideratioii. 

9th. What an effect would the 
thought that « time k diort," and that 
^tfae feshion of this world passeth 
AWay," have on the lovers of wealth ! 
It would, (1.) Teadi them* that property 
b of Uttle value. (2.) That the pos- 
•ession of it can constitute no distinc- 
tion beyond the grave : the rich man is 
just as soon reduced to dust, and is just 
aa offensive in his splendid mausoleum, 
88 the poor beggar. (S.) A man feeling 
Ibis, would be led (or ihould be) to 
make a good use of his property on 
Mith. See Note, Luke xvi. 1—9. (4^ 
He would be led to seek a better inhe- 
litance,' ari interest in the treasures 
liiat no moth corrupts, and that never 
Me away. Note, Matt vL 20. This 
irini^ thonght, that the fiMhioa of this 

world is soon to 

which no man can doubt or deny-^if 

allowed to take firm hold of the mind, 

would change the entile aspect of th« 


10th. We diottld endeavour so to* 
Uve in all things as that our minds 
should not he oppressed with undtta 
anxiety and care. ver. 82. In all our 
arrangements and plans, and in all tho 
relations of life, our grand object should 
be to have the mind free for the dutiea 
and privileges of religion. We should 
seek not to be encumbered with care % 
not to be borne down with anxiety; 
not to be unduly attached to the things 
of this life. 

11th. We should enter into the leb- 
tions of life so as not to interfere with 
our personal piety or usefulness, but ao 
as to promote both. ver. 32—35. All 
our arrangements sbonld be so formed 
as that we may discharge our rehgioos 
duties, and promote oar uselulneas to 
our fellow men. But, alas, how many 
enter into the maniage relation with on* 
diristian oompani<»i% whose active zeal 
is for ever quenched by such a con* 
neximi ! Hew many form commercial 
connexions or partnerships in busineas 
with those who are not Christiana^ 
where the result is to diminish their 
zeal for God, and to render their whole 
lives useless to the church ! And how 
much do the cares of life, in all its 
relations, interfere with simple-hearted 
piety, and with the feithful dischargo 
of the duties which we owe to God and 
to a dying world! May God of his 
mercy enable us so to five in all tho- 
relations of life as that our usefidnesi 
shall not be retarded but augmented; 
and so to Uve that we can aee without 
one sigh of regret the ''feahion of this 
world pass away ;'* our property or our 
friends removed ; or even the magnifir 
cence of the entire world, with all it^ 
palaces, and temples, and *'doud-<cappei 
towers," passing away amidst the fopss 
that ahall attend the consiimmstiott of 

. » 





NOW as touching things of- 
/ered * unto idoLs, we know 

a Acts 16.10,19. 

' far tfaii chapter wiother subject m 
dlinuMdy which had bean proposed by 
the drarch aft Coiinth for die decisioii 
of the apoatle : Whether it woe right 
far Chrieiimu to partake cf the meat 
that had htxn Offered in mwriJUe to 
iSoit? On thiB question there would 
be doubtless a difBarenee of opinion 
among the Corinthian ChiMans. 
'When those sacrifices were made to 
hsuAoi god% a part of the animal was 
ghen to the priest that c^kiafted, a part 
was eonsmned on the altar, and a purt 
(probably the principal pait) was the 
p ro p e rty of him who offered it This 
part was either eaten by him at home, 
as food which had been in so^ sense 
consecrated or blessed by having been 
offered to an idol ; or it was partaken 
of at a fisast in honour of the idol; or 
it was in some instances exposed for 
Mle in the market, in the same way as 
otSbm meat Whether, therefore, it 
would be right to partake of that food, 
aither when invited to the house of a 
heathen fiiend, or when it was exposed 
fiw sale in the nMsket, was a question 
HiMdk could not but present itself to a 
ocmsdentionB Cluistian* The obfeetiqfi 
t» partaking of it would be, that to 
partake of it either in the temples or at 
the feasts of tbek hea&en noghbours, 
would be to lend tiieir ooontenance to 
idob^. On the other hand, tfacie 
wete many who supposed that it was 
always lawful, and that the scruples of 
tbcor brethren were needkss. Some of 
llieir azgaments>FinI has alluded to in 
the ooUTse of the chapter: tey were, 
tfiat an Idol was nothmg in the worid ; 
Aat there was but oneGodiand that 
9f&ry one mast know fhis; and that, 
thei^^fi^ there was no dai^er that anrf 
worshipper of the true Ood could be led 
into the absurdities of idolatry, ver. 4 — 
8. To this the apostle repUes, that 
though there mg^ be this knowledge, 

that we «11 baT6 knowledge. 
Knowledge 'pnffeth up, bnteha- 
rity * edineth. 

fiBaax.ii.14^ elsa.47.10. dc^S. 

yet, (1.) Knowledge sometimes pufM 
up> and made us proud, and that we 
should be careful lest it dioiidd lead us 
astray by our vain seIf«onfidenee. irer. 
1. 3. 7. (2.) That a/7 had not that 
knowledge (ver. 7)3 and that they 
even then, notwithstanding all the light 
which had been shed around them by 
Christianity, and notwithstanding the 
absurdi^ of idolatry, still regarded an 
idol as a real existence, as a god, and 
worshipped it as such; and that it 
would be hi|^y improper to counto- 
nanee in any way that idea. He left, 
the inference, therefore, that it was not 
proper, /rom this argument, to partake 
of the sacrifices to idcia, 

A second aigument in fiivour of par* 
taking of that fi>od is alluded to in ver* 
8, to wit, that it must be in itself a 
matter of indifierence; that it could 
make no diffidence before God, where 
all depended on mond purity and holi> 
ness of brart, whether a man had eatCA 
meat or not; that we were really no 
better or wmbo for it ; and that, thera* 
fore, it was pn^per to partake of that 
food. To this Paul repliea, (1.) That 
though this was true, as an abstract 
proposition, yet it might be the ocon* 
sion of leadbng odiera into sin. ver. 9« 
(3.) That the efiect o^ a weak farothtf 
would be to lead him to suppose that 
an idol tMir something, and to con&na 
him in his supposition that an idol 
should have aome regard, and be woiw 
shipped in the tempfe. ver. 10« (8.y 
Tfaat die consequence might be^ that • 
Christian of litde information and eop* 
perienoe might be diawM away md 
peridL viar.ll. (4^ That this woult 
be to sin against Christ if, a ktUm 
Christian ihould be tiioa destroyed* 
WNT. 13. And, (fi.) That as for \m^ 
sel( if indttlgenee in meat was in«nf 
way the occasion of making another 
sin, he would eat no meat as long as 
the world stood (ver. 13) ; so^ tQ ah* 

A.D. 59:3 


itain liom meai ww^ far lew evil 
than tho injuiy or deatraction of an 
immoTtal aouL 

1. Now as touching. In regard to; 
in answer to your inqairy whether it is 
right or not to partake, of those things, 
t Things offered unto idob, Sacrificea 
unto idols. Meat that had been offered 
in sacrifice, and then dther exposed to 
sale in the market, on served up at the 
feasts held in honour of idols at their 
temples, or at the houses of their devo- 
tees. The priests, who were entitled 
to a part of the* meat that was ofiered 
in sacrifice, would expose it to sale in 
the market ; and it was a custom with 
the Gentiles to make feasts in honour erf* 
the idol gods on the meat that was 
dfered in sacrifice* See ver. 10 of this 
diapter, and eh. X. 20, 21. Some Chris- 
tians would hold that there could be no 
harm in partaking of this meat any 
more than any oSier meat, since an 
idol was nothmg; and others would 
have many scrui^ in regard to it, 
•hioe it would seem to countenance idol 
worship. The request made of Paul 
was, that he should settle some general 
principle which they might all safely 
follow. ^ We know. We admit; we 
cannot dispute; it is so plain a case 
that no one can be ignorant on this 
point Probably these are the woids 
of the Corinthians, and perhaps they 
were contained in the letter which was 
aent to PauL They would affirm- that 
they were not ignorant in regard to the 
nature of idols ; they were well assured 
that they were nothing at all ; and henee 
tiiey seemed *to ifrfer that it might be 
right and proper -to partake df this food 
anywhere and eveiy where, even in the 
idol -temples themselves. See ver. 10. 
To this Paul replies in the course of 
tbe chapter, and particularly in ver. 7. 
Y That we all have knouiledge. That 
is, on this subject ; we are acquainted 
with the true nature of idols, and of 
idol worship ; we aU esteem an idol to 
be nothing, and cannot be in danger of 
being led into idolatry, or into any im- 
proper yievrs in regard to this subject 
by partidpattng of the food and_fei8ts 
ooonected with iM wonhip. 

the statement and aignmttit Of the 0> 
rintlkians. To this Panl makea two 
answers. (1.) In ^parenthesis in ver. 
1 — 3, to wit, that it was not safe to rely 
on mere knowUtfg^in each a caae, sinea 
the effect of mere knowledge was oAan 
to puff men up and to make them proud^ 
but tl»t they ought to act rather from 
« charity," or love; and, (2.) That 
though the mass of them ndght hav« 
this knowledge, yet that aU did not 
poesess it, Jind tlbey might be injured, 
ver. 7. Having steted this argument 
of the Corinthkns, that all had know- 
ledge, in ver. 1, Paul then in a paren- 
thesis states tlie usual effect of know- 
ledge, and diowB thai it is not a safe 
guide, ver. 1—8. In ver. 4 he resumta 
the atatement (commenced in rer. 1) 
of the Corinthiana, but which, in a. 
mode quite frequent m his writings, he 
had bn^en (^ by iiis paientheais on' 
the subject of knowledge ; and in ver. 
4—6 he states the argument mora at 
length ; concedes that &ere Waa to them ' 
but onei-^fed^ and that the majority 
of them must know that ; but states in 
ver. 7, that aU had not this knowledge^ 
and that those who had knowledge, 
ought to act so as not to injure thoae 
who had not ^ Knowledge puffkthup* 
This is tiie beginning of the parentlie- 
sis. It is ttM reply of Paul to the state* 
ment of tiie Corinthians, that all liad 
knowledge. The sense ia, ' Adoiitting 
that you dl have knowledge ; that yon 
know what is ihe nature ef an idol, 
and of idol -worriiip ; yet mere know- 
lee^ in this case is not a safe guide; 
its eflfeet fikty be to puff up, to fiU with 
pride and ara-suffiden^, and to lead 
you astray. Charity ^ or love, as well 
as knowledge, should be allowed to. 
come in as a guide in such cases, and 
will be a safer guide than mere know* 
ledge.' There had been some remark- 
able proofe of the impropriety of relying 
on mere knawk^ as a guide in reli- 
gious matters among 4he Coriuthiansy 
and it was well for Paul to remind them 
of it These pretenders to uncommon 
wisdom haid given rise to their fectiona, 
disputes, and partiea, (see di. i. iL iiL) \ 
•ad Panl nMrieminda thma that it w«i 



3 And if 'any man tbink tbal 
he kneweth any thing, he know- 

Dst nfe to lely on such a guide. And 
It is no moiB safe mom than it was then. 
'Umt'knowUdge^ or 8ewn6e» whan the 
heart is not right, ^Sk with pride; 
sweib a man with vain selfH^nfideace 
and reliance in his own powers, and 
"voy often leadf him entirely astray. 
Knowledge combined with right feel- 
iage, with pare principlee, with a heart 
filtod with love to God and men, may 
be trasted: but not men intellectual 
attainments; mere abstract sdance ; the 
mere cnltivatidn of the intellect Unless 
the heart is cultivatod with that, 4he 
efiect of imowtedg* is to make a man 
a pedant; to fill Urn with vain ideas of 
me own inq>ortanoe; and thus to lead 
him into error and to sin. ^ BtU char 
rify ed^eih. Love (» ^4bn) ; so 
the word means ; and so it would be 
wan to translate it. Our woid charitif 
«e now apply inmost eyd ^ ni ve^ to 
amuhgiving, ^or to the fiivourable opi- 
nion which we entertain of others when 
Ihsy seem to be in error or fikuH. The 
wicffid in the Scripture means simply 
Jb0«. See Notes (m ch. ziiL The sense 
Imk is, * Knowledge is not a safe guide, 
tfid should not be trusted. Xovetoeach 
other and to God, true Christian afiEeo 
tion, win be a safer guide than mere 
Imowledge. Tour condosioii on this 
question diduld not be formed from 
men abstract knowledge; but you 
flbonld ask what i^oys to other»-4o 
the peace, purity, happin^M, and ealva- 
tion of your breUiren — would demand. 
If hve to them would prompt to this 
course, end permit you to partake of 
this fbod, it should be d<»ie ; if not, if 
it would injure them, whatever mere 
knowledge would dictete, it should not 
be done.' The doctrine is, that love to 
God and to each other is a better guide 
In determining what to do than mere 
knowledge. And it is so. It will 
prompt us to seek the welfere of others, 
and to avoid what would injure them. 
It will make us tender, afiectionate, and 
kind; and wffi bettei tell us what to 

eth nothing yet 

[A.D. 69* 
he ought to 

do, and how to do it in the best way, 
than all the abstract knowledge that is 
conceivable. The man vrho is influ- 
enced by love, ever pure and ever glow« 
ing, is not in much danger of going 
astray, or of doing injury to the cause 
of Gk>d. The man who relies on his 
knowledge is heady, high-minded, ob- 
stinate, contentious, vexadous, perverse^ 
opinionated ; and most of the difficulties 
in the church arise from such men. 
Love makes no difficulty, but heab 
and allays all: mere knowledge Iwals 
or allays n<me,but is oUten the occasion 
of most bitter strife and contention* 
Paul was wise in recommending that 
the question should be settled by ibve/ 
and it would be wise if all Christians 
would follow his iifstructiotts. 

% And if any think, Sec The can- 
nezion and the scope of this passage 
require us to understand this as de^ 
signed to condiuyw that fain conceit of 
knowledge, or self-oonfidenoe^ which 
would 1^ as to despise others, or to 
disregard thehr interests. * If any one 
is conceited of his knowledge, is so vain, 
and proud, and self<onfident, that ha 
is led to despise others, and todisregard 
their trae interests, he has not yet learn- 
ed the vety first elemente of true know* 
ledg^.as he ought to leivn them. True 
knowledge will make us humble, mo- 
dest, and kind to others. It will not 
pufiT us up, and it will not lead us to 
overtook the real happiness <^ others.' 
See Horn. zi. 35. ^ Any thing. Any 
matter pertaimng to science, morals^ 
philosophy, or religion. This is a ge- 
neral maxim pertaining to aU pretend* 
era to knowledge^ 5 ^<s knoweih no* 
thing yet, dtc He has not known 
what is most necessary to be known on 
the subject; nor has he known the truo 
use and design of knowledge, which is 
to edify and promote the happiness of 
others. If a man has not eo learned 
any thing as to m^^ it contribute to 
the haziness ^f others, it is a proof 
that he has iia<per learned thatruede* 




8 Bat if any amn love Gbd, 
^0 ssone k kBomsi * of him. 
4 As coneerning therefore the 


«gn of Um finC«l«Bieiitai of knowledge, 
feed's design is to induee ^bmm to seek 
Ae weHue of their Inetiuen. Know- 
ledge, rightly apptted, will promote the 
Ittppinefls of afi. And it u tme Inow 
is it was then, that if a man is ti miter 
in knowledge as in weakh ; if he liiFes 
to aeeumnlate, never to impart ; if he 
is filled with a Tain conceit of his wis- 
dom, and seeks not to benefit othen by 
•nKghtening their ignorance, and guid- 
ing^ them in the way of troth, he has 
9iver learned the true use of scienoe, 
«iiy more than the man has of wesith 
^rbo always "hoards, never gives. It is 
Poetess unless it is ^fibsed, as the 
%ht of heaven would be valuelefi nn- 
Ims difl^sed all oveir the worid, voA the 
waitors would be vakieiees if always pre- 
.4nrved in lakes and reservoirs, and never 
-<^ii8ed over hills and vales to lefiresh 
the earth. 

8. Bui if any man hoe Chd, If 
•By man is tnily attached to God ; if 
he seeks to serve hkm, and to promote 
Ms glory. The sense seems to be this. 
*Tb0n is no tnie sod real knowledge 
which is not connected with love to 
Ood. This will prompt a man also to 
Ivre his brethren, and vriVL lead him to 
promote Ihdr happSness. A man's 
eeoTse^ therefore, is not to bo regulated 
by mere knowledge, but the grand prin- 
ciple Is love to God and love to man. 
Love ed^es; lofe promotes happiness ; 
love will prompt to what is fight ; and 
love will secure the approbation of God.' 
Thus explained, this difficult verse, ac- 
eoids widi the whole ecope <tf the pa- 
mthesis, whidi is to show that a man 
Aould not be guided fai his intereomse 
with oMierB by mero knowledge, how- 
•fergwattfiatmeybe; but that a safer 
«iid better ptinciple was knfe, ehariiy 
(4><bn»), whether MCenised towards God 
at man* Under the giudance of this, 
van wwild be hi little danger of erm. 

offered in saerifice unto idoii, 
we know that an iM * is no- 


he would never be sure cf a asfe guide. 
Seeckxia. 1 Tike tomtit kneum of 
him. The words** is known" (kMm^ 
I suppose to be taken hero in the senae 
of <is approved by God; is loved by 
him; meets with his &vour,' dec m 
^toB sense the word hwwn is often 
used in the Scriptures. Note, Matt. viL 
23. Tlie sense is, *U any man acte 
under the influenoe of sacred chari^, 
or love to Grod, and consequent love to 
man, he will meet with the appiubatiott 
of Ciod. He will seek his gl<Nry, and 
the good of his brethren; he will be 
l&ely to do right ; and God will apfnofie 
of taa intentions and desii«% and will 
Wgard him as his child. Little distm^ 
guished, therofiire, as ha may be fiv 
human knowledge, fiv that seienee 
whidi pui& up with vain self-eenll* 
denoe, yet he will have a more truly 
elevated rank, rad will meet with the 
approbation sad praise of God. This 
is of more value than mere knowledge^, 
and this love is a fiur safer guide tlnn 
any mere intdlectuid attainments.' So 
the worid would have found it to l^ if 
they had acted pn it; and so Christiaaa 
would always find it. 

4. At coneerning thtrefart, dec. The 
parenthesis closes with ver. 3. The 
apostle now proceeds to the real qusi* 
tion in debate, and reptatt in this veiue 
the question, and the admissi<Ni that all 
had knowledge. The admittian Uiat 
aU had knowledge proceeds throngtl 
ver. 4, 5, and 6 ; and in vw. 7 he gives 
the anewer to it. In ver. 4—6 eeery 
iking is admitted by Paul which they 
asked in vegaid to &e real extent of 
their knowledge on this subject; and 
in ver. 7 he shows that even on the 
ground of this adnussion, the conclu- 
sion would not follow that it was right 
to partake of te food ofibred in sacii- 
fioe m the temple of an idol. 1 Tke 
esHi» 1^ ihote ihingt, See. Wfaetiier 
itisffghttoeattett. H«r»4»qiu»* 

--^— — 9T^ 


lA/Vr, s». 

Aing In &e worMy and Aat lAere 
iv nonib other * God but one. 

or J>enA.iM. Ihl44.8^ 

tioD 18 Tailed somewhat Iraia what it 
was in yer. 1, but substantially the same 
inqniiy is stated. The question was, 
whether it was right for Christians to 
eat the meat of animals that had been 
•bun in sacrifice to idols. ^ We know, 
Ter. 1. We Corinthians know; and 
Paul seems luUy to admit that Aey had 
all &e knowledge which they claimed. 
Ter. 7. But his object was to show 
ihat even atbiMing that, it would not 
follow that it would be right to partake 
•f that meat It is well to bear in mind 
that the oly'ed of theur statement in re- 
gard to knowledge was, to show that 
'there could be no impropriety in par- 
taking of the food* This argument the 
apostle amswen in vet. 7. ^ Jfiat an 
idolia fwHdng, Is not the true God ; 
isDot a proper object of wcnship. We 
are not eo stupid as to suppose that the 
Hock of wooc^ or the carved image, or 
the chiseled marble is a real mtelli- 
gence, and is conscious and capable of 
receiving worship, or benefiting its vo- 
taries. We fully admit, and know, 
that the whole- thing is delusive ; and 
•there can he no- danger that, by partak- 
ing of the food offered in sacrifice fo 
them, we should ever be toought to a 
bdief of the stupendous fiils^eod that 
they are true objects of worship, or to 
deny the true Godw There is no doubt 
that the more intelligent heathen had 
this knowledge; and doubtleas nearly 
all Christians possessed it, though a few 
who had been educated in the grosser 
views of heathenism might stili have 
regarded the idol with a superstitious 
jwverenoe. For whatever might have 
been the knowledge of statesmen and 
l^osophers on the subject, it was still 
donbtiess true that the great mass of the 
heathen werM did regard the dumb 
idols as the proper objects of worship, 
and supposed that they vrere inhabited 
by invisible spiritS'-~&e gods. For 
purposes of state, and p^^, and im- 
position, the lawgivers and priests of 
tika pagan world weie caieftd to 

J 6 For though tfa6re be that 
are * called goda, whether in h^p 

this delusion. See ver. 7. ^ J» wh 
thing. Is delusive; \a imaginarf. 
There may have been a reference heie 
to the name of an idol among the H#> 
brews. They called idols o^'rSif (E^ 
Um\ or in the singular S^Sm (EUl)^ vain, 
null, nothing^worth, nothingness, va- 
nity, weakness, &&; indicating their 
vanity JBmd poweriesBDiess. Lev.zxvi.1. 
1 Chron. xvL S6. Isa. ii 8 ; x. iO ; 
xix. 11. 13. 20; zzxL 7. Ps. xc 5. 
Ezek. XXX. 13. Hah. ii 18. Zech. 
xL 17, &c Y Jf» the world, 'JX is 
nothing at all ; it has no power ov* 
the worid^ no veal existence any- 
where. Ther»are no such gods as the 
headiens pretend to worship. Then 
is but one God; and that feet is known 
tomialL The i^rase^inlheworid^ 
seems- to be added by way of emphasii^ 
to show the utter nothingness of adok; 
to explain in the most emphatic manner 
the belief that they had no real exist- 
ence. T -^nd that there ie none other 
ffode hut one. This was a great car> 
dinal truth of religion. See Note, Marie 
xii.29k Compi. I>eut vi.4, & Tokoipp 
tills great trutii in mind was the grand 
object of the Jewish economy ; and this 
was so plain, and importnt, that te 
Corinthians supposed that it must be 
admitted by aU. Even though thijr 
should partake of the meat that was of* 
fered in^ sacrifice to idols, yet they sop- 
posed it was not possible that any of 
them could forget the great <^"jlinal 
trutii that there was but one God. 

5. Thai are eaUed gode. Gods so 
called* The heathens everywhere war- 
shipped multitndes, and gave- to them 
the name of gods. ^ Wuether in Aeo- 
ven. Kesiding in hearfn, as a pot 
of the gods were sopposed to do. Per- 
haps, there may be idlusion here to the 
sun, moon, and stars ; but I rather wagf^ 
pose that reference is made to the oe* 
testial deities, or to those who wars 
supposed to reeide in heaven, though 
tiiey were supposed oocasionallv to visit 
the eaith» as Japitari JmiOi mfKm$9 

4.D, 50.] 



mn or in iNrd^. (as ibBie Iw f^ 
many and lords many,) 

(Iec 1 Orinearth. Upon tli« earth; 
nr that raign^ partioularly over the 
eazth, or aee, as Ceres, Neptune, Ac 
The ancient heathens worshipped some 
gpds that were supposed to. dwell in 
heaven ;. others that were supposed to 
iBside on earth; and others that fwe- 
4idad over the injfexior regions, as Pluto, 
ite^ ^ As there he f;od8 many iZ9iri^), 
te. As there are, in indt, many which 
■» so called or regarded. It is a Ud 
fiiat the heathens worship many whom 
tfaey esteem to be gods, or whom they 
Cigavd as such* * TUs cannot be an ad- 
mMon of Paul that they were truly 
Codi^ and ought to be wonhipped ; but 
it is a declaration that they esteemed 
them to be such, or that a &»^ mim^ 
of imaginary beings were tlras adored. 
The emphesis should be ptaoed en the 
word mamff «nd the dengn of the 
parenthesis is, Xo show that the number 
of these that were worshipped was not 
a few, but was immense ; and .timt they 
were m fast worshipped as gods, and 
allowed to have the influence over their 
nunds and lives which they woM have 
If they were real ; that is, that the ^est 
of this popular belief was to produce just 
ae much fear,alarm, superstition, and cor- 
mption, as though these imaginary gods 
had a real enstence. So that though 
the more intelligent of the heathen pat 
DO confidence in them, yet the efiect en 
the ipeat mass was the same as if they 
had had a real ezisteoce, and exerted 
avar them a real controL 1 And lords 
many ^wiftot e«^^e«). Those who had 
aiiMe 01^ them; to whom they sub- 
mitted themselves; and whose laws 
they obeyed* This name lord was 
aAni given to that idol gods. Thus 
among the nations of Canaan their idols 
was called ^^ (Batd, or lord), the !»• 
Maiy god of the Phenictans and 8y- 
lians. Judg.viiLjB3; ix.4.46. It is 
used here wifli refereaae to the idolsf 
and means that the laws which th^ 
nana auwaaed la give in repnd to thsJr 


e Bntto«#«lAaretf ftiff 
God, the Father, of whom 

woiehlp-had eontrol over the nmida «f 
their worshippers. 

6. Bui to us. Christiana, Wea&> 
knowledge but one God. Whatever tha 
heathen wonriup, we know that thcae la 
but dhe God; and he alone has a tight 
to rulo over us. 1 jOne Ood, the Ps^ 
ther. Whom we acknowledge as the 
Father of all ; Anther of all things ; and 
who eostains to ell hb woifai the lel^ 
tion of a fiither. The word << Father* 
hero is not used as. applieabie to the 
firpt person of the Trinity, aa dislia* 
guished Irom the second, but Is applisd 
to GodotfGod; not ae the Father m 
conlradistiaction from the Son, bui to 
the divine nature as suoh, without ro» 
feiwce to 4iat dMtiBetioift-<4he Father 
as distingaished from his oflbpring^ tfaa 
woifcs that owe their origin to hnn. 
This is nani&at, (1.) Beesnsetheeina* 
tie does not use the ceneiative torn 
*< Son'* when he coines to speak of tfap 
" one Loid Jesas Christ ;*' and (2.) Ba- 
eause the scope of the passage reqoiiat 
it TJie apoetle speaks of Qod, of tha 
divine ;natnre, the one infiniteiy ho^ 
Being, as sustaining the relation or 
Father to his creatures* He prodnaed 
them. He providee for diem. He peo» 
teets them, as a &tberdoee hki ehiidraB, 
He regards thsir welfere; pities diem 
in their sorrows; sustains them in trial; 
shows himsalf to be their Inend. Tha 
name Father is thus given fiiaqaenthr 
to God, as applicable to the one Qod, 
the divine Being. Ps. cilL^ 18. Jer. 
zxti.9. MalL6;n.lO. Malt, vi 91 
Luke xL a, 4^ In oAer places it to 
applied to the Arst person of the Tri» 
nity as distingiiished fipom the seoondi 
and in these iaetanoes the correbAivia 
Son is used. Lnke x. 23 ; zziL 4A» 
John L 18; iiL8&; v. 19,20,21,201^ 
2a.26.aO.S6. fieb.i.6. 2PM.i.i7, 
dec fOftttioaiGf w)* Fromwhom^ 
as aifoantaui and scarce; by whoaa 
eeoaeel^ plan, and pnrpese. Heistha 
«| all t and all depend an 




•11 ifaiiigi, and we in ^ him ; 
wad one Ldrd Jesus Ghrist, by 

• or, far. 

■ — ' ■ 

him. H was by hiB puipoaeraod power 
diat aU things were fonaed, and to all 
he sustains the relation of a Fatner. 
The ixgent in prodnoing all things, 
however, was the Son. CoL i« 16. 
Note, John i 8. *| Are atf thinfftM 
These words evidentlj refer to ue 
whole work of creation, as deriving 
their origin from (9od. Qen. l 1. Every 
thing has thus been formed in accord- 
•noe with his plan ; and all things now 
depend on him as their Father. \ And 
we. We ChrislianB. We are what we 
are by him. We owo' our existence to 
him ; and by him we have been rege- 
neimted and saved. It is owing to his 
^nnsel, purpose, agency, that we have 
an existence ^4aid owing to him that 
we have the hope of eternal life. The 
leading idea here is, probably, that to 
Qod Christians owe their hopes and 
haj^nness. -^ In him (Jut Avrif) ; or 
n&er unto him : that is, we are foxmed 
for him, and should live to his glory. 
We have been made what we are, as 
Chzistaans, that we may promote his 
honour and glory. % And one Lord, 
Ac. One LokI in eontradistinctionfrom 
the *< many lords" whom the heathens 
trcfshipped. The word Lord here is 
used in the sense of proprietor, ruler, 
governor^ or king; and the idea is, that 
Christians acknowledge subjection to 
him alone, and not to many sovereigns, 
as the heathens did. Jesos Christ is 
the Ruler and Lord of his people. They 
acknowledge tHeir allegiance to hiin as 
their supreme Lawgiver and King. 
They do not adcnowledge sutjectlon 
to many rulers, whether imaginary 
gioda or men; but receive their laws 
from him alone. The word << Lord" 
here does not imply of necessity any 

" inferiority to God; since it is a term 
which is fiequently applied to God him- 
•il£ The idea in ^ passage is, that 
from God, the Father of all, we derive 

' enr existence, and all that we have; 
■id that we acknoifdedge immediate 
ind dv^ subjection to Ihe Loid Jesus 

whom *9re 9SI things, and we 
by him. » 

aJoo.1^. Heb.1^ 

as our Lawgiver and Sovereign. From 
him Christians receive their laws, and 
to liim they submit their fives. And 
this idea is so for from supposing infe^ 
riority in the Lord Jesus to Qod, that 
it rather supposes equality; since a right 
to give laws to men, to rule their coih 
sdences, to direct their religious opi- 
nions and their fives, can appfopriately 
appertain only to one who has equafily 
with God. t By whom, &c. {iC ^). 
By whose agenat; or through whom, 
as the agent. Th» woid ^hy*' (in 
stands in contnidistinction from ^of** 
(i|^ in the former- part of the verse ; 
and obviously means, that, though <*all 
things" derived their existence fiwk 
God as the fountain and author, yet it 
was <<dy " the agency of the Lord Jesus. 
This doctrme, tiiat the Son of God was 
the great agent in the creation of the 
world, is elsewhere abundsntly taught 
in the Scriptures. See Note, John i 9« 
t Are aU things. The universe ; folr 
so the phrase rd leapnt properly meana 
No words could better express the idea 
of the univerBe than these; and the 
declaration is therefore explicit ihaff tibe 
Lord Jesus created all thii^is. Somo 
explain this of the ** new creation ;" as 
if Paul had said that oU thmgs peiw 
taining to our salvation were from him. 
But the objections to this interpretatien 
are obvious. (1.) It is not the natural 
signification. (3.) The phrase **aK' 
things" naturally denotes the univene. 
(3.) The scope of the passage requires 
us so to understand it Paul is not 
speaking of the new creature ; but he 
b speaking of the questioik whether 
tiiere is more than one God, one Crea* 
tor, one Ruler over the wide untverse. 
The heathen said there was ; Christians 
affirmed that diere was not ThefNWpe, 
therefore, of the passage requires us to 
understand this of the vast matsrial 
universe; and the obvious declaration 
here is, that ^» Lord Jesus was 1h# 
Creator of all. ^ And toe, WeClsis* 
tiinis (1 Pet LSI); or, we as msn; 

▲•D. 59.] 



7 Howbeit there ie not in 
every man that knowledge : for 

we have derived cyar existence "hy*' 
(ii) OT ^rou^h luau The expraeaioa 
will apply either to odr original crea- 
tion, or to oar h/apca of hteven, aa being 
ii/ hint; and is equally true respecting 
both. Probably the idea is, that d? that 
we have, as men and as Christians^ 
our lives and our hopes, aie through 
him, and by his agency. 1 By htm 
(// etuTw), By his agency. Paul had 
8aid„ in respect to God the Father of all, 
that we were unio (ue) him; he here 
iiys that in regard to the Lord Jesus, 
we are by (/<*) him, or by his agenqr. 
The sense is, * God is the author, the 
former of the plan ; the source of being 
and of hope ; and we are to Uve to him : 
but Jesus is the agent by whom all 
these things are made^ and through 
whom they are con&ited on us«' Ari* 
ana and Sodnians have made use of 
this passage to pn>?e that the 8<m. was 
inferior to jGrod ; and the argument is, 
that the name God is not given to 
Jesus, but another name implying infe- 
riority; and that the design of Paul 
was to make a di^inction between God 
and the Lord Jesus. It is not the de- 
sign of these Notes t& examine opipions. 
in theology ; but in reply to this argu- 
Baent we may observe, briefly, (1.) That 
those who hold to the divinity of the 
Lord Jesus do not deny that &ere is a 
distinction between him and the Father : 
they fully admit and maintain it, both 
in regard to his eternal existence (»• e, 
that there is. an eternal distinction of 
persons in the Godhead) and in regard 
to his office as mediator. (2.) The 
term ** Lord,*' given here, does not of 
necessity sappoae that he is inferior to 
God. (3.) The design of the passage 
supposes that there was . equality in 
some respects. God the .Father and 
the Lord Jesus sustain relations to 
men that in some sense correspond to 
the *< many gods'* and the " many lords" 
that the hetUhen adored ; but they were 
equal in nature. (4.) The work of 
creation is expressly in this passage 

aone, wHh conwieaee of tfao 
idol unto this hour, eat «l as a 

ascribed to die Lord Jesus. But the 
work of creation cannot be perfimned 
by a ereatuie. There can be do del^ 
gated Godf and no delegated omn^po* 
tenee, or delegated infinite wiadkim and ^ 
omniprasenee. The work of creation 
implies divinity ; or it is impossibla to 
prove that there ia a God : and if thn 
Loid Jesus made <*all Tuives,*' hm 
must be God. 

7. Mowbeit. But. Ia4^ previoiif 
venes Paul had stated the argument of 
the Gorinthiane— 4hat they aU knew 
that an idol was nothing; that Ihef 
worshipped but one God;_.and thai 
thete could be no danger i>f their taU* 
ing into idolatry, even should they par* 
take of the meat offered in saerifioe to 
i^ols. Here he replies, that though 
this might be generally true, yet it wa« 
not universally; fer that some were 
ignorant on this subject, and suppMed 
that an idol had a real existence, and 
that to partake of that meat would be 
to confirm them in their superstition. 
The vnference therefore is, that on their 
account they should abstain. See ver. 
11—13. Y T^ere is not, dtc. Them 
are some who are weak and ignorant ; 
who have still remains of heathen opip 
nions and superstitious feelings. \ ThfA 
knowledge. That there is but one God; 
and that an idol is nothing, t ^or 
some, with eonscienu of the tdot From 
conscientious regard to ^e idol; be- 
lieving that an idol god has a real ^ 
existence ; and that his favour should 
be sought, and his wreth be deprecated. 
It is not to be supposed that converted 
men would regaid idols as th^ only 
God ; but they might suppose that they 
were intermediate beings, good or bad 
angels, and that it was proper to seek 
th^ fevour or avert their wrath. We 
are to bear in mind that the' heathen 
were exceedingly ignorant; and that 
their former notions ^and superstitioua 
feelings about the gods whom theis 
fiUhen worshipped, and whom they 
had adored, would not soon leare 


[A. D. 59» 

iUng offinmd ula an idol ; and 
lh«ur eoBseimee being imk is 
8 But Bieat * coramcmdeth vm 

• BoBkl4.17. 

tbcniy •▼«ii on thtlr eon^nfon to 
C^mtlMitj. ThkiBJuft<Mieui8t8Dee, 
]&0 thoatuidi, in which ibnner ern>> 
fleooi opinidDs, prejndtoeii m sopenti- 
tioM vi0iv« flMj inflmnee Haoae who 
in traj^ cottTeited to God, and great- 
ly mar and disfigure the beauty and 
•finmeliy dP their raligioini diaracter. 
1 Bat it OB a things dbc. As v^esnA to 
in idol who was entitied to adoration ; 
m M having a right to their homage. 
They sopposed that some invidUe spi- 
rit was pfesent with the idol ; and tfaaf 
\bb fiivonr should be sought, or his 
wradi aTerted, by sacrifice. K And 
their eonmenee hdn^ weak, Bein? 
imenH^tentBd on this subject; and 
being too weak to wittistand the temp* 
Iktian in such a cfyie* Not having a 
tonscieuce sufficiently clear and efrong 
to enable them to resist the temptation ; 
to overcome all iheir former prejudices 
ttid supentitions feelings; and to act 
in an independent manner, as if an idol 
were nothing. Or their conscience was 
morbidly sensitive and delicate on this 
subject: they might be disposed to do 
right, and yet not have sufficient knew- 
kdge to convince them that an idol was 
no&ittg, and that they ought not to 
vBgajrd it. t -29 dejikd. Polluted ; con* 
taminated. By thus countenancing 
idolatry he is led into sin, and contracts 
guilt that will giv^ him pain when his 
conscience becomes more enlightened, 
ver. 11. 18. From superstitious reve- 
fftnoe of the idol, he might think that 
he Was doing right; but the e£fect 
^ould be to lead him to a conformity 
to idol womhip that would -defile his 
eonscieace, pollute his mind, and ulti- 
ttiately produce the deep^ and pahiftil 
4Mmviction of guitt. The general reply, 
Ai^efoie, of Paul to the first ailment 
In favour of partaking of the meat 
ifieied in aacrifiee to idols is, that att 

not to God: lor neither if we 
eat, ^aie we the beUer; nei* 
ther if we eat not, ' are we the 

iWfkamwtthiwtore. «or,AaM«»tiWteik 

GfaristianB have not full knowledge oil 
the subject; and that to partake of that 
might lead them into the sin of idcdft^ 
try, and corrupt and destroy their souIs»- 
8. Bui meat eomnfendeih u» not to 
Chd, -This is to be regarded as the view 
presented by the Corinthian ChristiaB% 
or by the advocates for partaking of tfaa 
meat offered in sacrifice to idols. The 
sense is, 'Religion is of a deeper uut 
mom spiritual nature than a mere re* 
gard to dKumstances like these. Goi 
looks at Ae heart. He regards the 
motives, the thoughts, the moml actionft^ 
of men. The mere circumstance of 
eating f^enf, oar fthstaining lium it, ouh 
not make a man better or worse hilhe 
sight <^ a holy God. The acccptaUe 
worship of God is not placed in sudh 
things. ^ It is more spiritual; ukho 
deep ; more important And therefore/ 
the inference is, Ht camrot be a matter 
of much in^rtance witether a mm 
eats the meat- oSereA in sacrifice to 
idols, or abstains.' To this argument 
tlte apostle replies (ver. 9-^13), that, 
although this might be true m itself 
yet it might be the occasion of leading 
others into sin, and it would tJten bcs 
come a matter (^ great impartante in 
the sight of Cfod, and should be In the 
sight of alF true Christians. The woid 
^'commendeth** (vt^iffrnvt) means pro* 
perly to introduce to the favour of any 
one, as a kihg or ifuler ; and here means 
to recommend to the &vour of God* 
God does not regard this as a matter 
of importance. He does not make hi« 
fiivour depend on unimportant circum- 
stances like this^ 1 Neither if we eat* 
li we partake of the meat oflbred to 
idols. Y Are we the better. Margin, 
Have' we ike more, Gr. Bo we abound 
(sng/rtfWe/Aiir) ; that is, in moral .wortih 
or excellence of character. See Note, 
Hev. xiv. 17. ^ Are we the uform 

A. D. 69.] 



' But take heed leet by any 
means this * liberty • of yours 
become a stombling-block to 
them that are weak. 

10 For if any man see thee 

'> or, pomer. a Robi.14. 13^ QnlJB. 13. 

Mwrgia, Have we the leas, Greek, Do 
^e ]aqk or want (u«r^M/ftsd-A} ; that is, 
ia moral worth or excellence. 

9. Bui take heed. This its the reply 
ol Paul to the argi;ment of the Coribth- 
ians in Ter..8. 'Though all that you 
flay diould be admitted to be true, as it 
-fDUst be; though a man is neither 
morally better nor wone for partaking 
ti. meat or abstaining from it; yet the 
grand principle to be observed is, so to 
act' las not to injure your brethren. 
Though yoivmay be^o better or worse 
for eating or not eating, yet if your 
4)0Ciduct i^ali injure others, and lead 
them into nn, thai is a sufficient guide 
to determine you what to do in the 
case. You should abstain entirely. It 
is of iar more imp<Hrtance that your 
iHTother should not be led into sin, than 
it is that you should partake of meat 
which you acknowledge (ver. 8) is in 
itself of no importance.' ^ Jjcst hy 
any means (jm sroc). You should be 
careful that by no conduct of yours 
your brother be ,led into sin. TIus Lmi 
general principle that is to rogulate 
Ckristian conduct in all matters that 
are in. themselves indifferent, t ^^ 
liberty of yours. This which you 
ehdfn as a right; this power which 
you have, and the exercise of which is 
in itself lawiiiL The Uberty or power 
{§(wrU) here referred to was that of 
partaking of the meat that was offered 
m sacrifice to idols, ver. 8. A man 
may -have a right abstractly, to do a 
thing, but it may. not be prudent or 
wif» to exercise it* ^ Become a^urn-^ 
hlhg-Ifloek, An occasion of sin. Note, 
Matt V. 39; ako Note, Rom. xiv. 13. 
See that it be not the occasion of lead- 
ing others to 8hi,.and to abandon their 
Christian profession, ver. 10, ) To 
them, that are weak. To those pro- 
fdmdug Christiuui who «» not ftilly 


which hast knowledge sit at meat 
in the idol's temple, shall not die 
conscience of him which is weak 
be ^emboldened to eat those things 
which are offered to idols ; 

informed or instructed in regard to the 
true nature of idolatry, and who stilL 
may have a superstitious regard for the 
gods whom their fethers worshipped* 

10. For if any man. Any Chris- 
tie brother who is ignorant, or any 
one who might otherwise become « 
Christian. ^ WTUeh hast knowledge* 
Who are fully infermed in regard to 
tbe real nature of idol worship. Yoa 
will be looked up to as an example. 
You will be presuined to be partakmg 
of this feast in honour of the idol. You 
will thus encooiage him, and he will- 
partake of it with a conscientious r^ 
gard to the idol. ^ Sit at meat. 
Sitting down to an entertainment 
in the temple of the idol. Feasts 
were often celebrated, as they are now 
among the heathen, in honour of idols. 
Those entertainments were either in 
the temple of the idol, or at the house 
of. him who gave it. ^ Shall not the 
conscience of him which is weak. Of 
the man who is not fully informed, or 
who still regards the idol with super- 
stitious feelings. See ver. 7, ^ Bt 
emboldened. Margin, Edified (oltbJo' 
fAn^Mfnrui), Confirmed ; established. 
So the word edify is commonly used 
in the New Testament Acts ix. 31. 
Rom. xiv. 19. Eph. iv. 12. ITheaa. 
V. 11. The sense here is, ' Before this 
he had a superstitious jregard for idols. 
He had the remains of Ms former feel- 
ings and opinions. But he was not 
established 'in the belief that an idol 
was any thing; and his superstitious 
feelings were fast giving way to the 
better Chnstian doctrine that they were 
nothing. But now, by your example^ 
he will be fully confirmed in the belief 
that an idol is to be regarded with re* 
spect and homage. He will see yoa 
in the very temple, partaking of a feast 
in honour of the ido|; and he will iofw 




[A. D. S9, 

11 And tiuroQgh thy know- 
ledge shall the weak brother 

not only that it is right, but that it is a 
matter of oottsdenoe with you, and will 
ibUow your example.' 

11. And through thy knowledge, 
Becaose yon knew that an idol was 
nothing, and that thexe could be really 
no^ danger of falfing into idolatry from 
partaking of these Entertainments. Ton 
fHII tfaoB be tiie means of deceiving 
and destroying him. The argument 
ef the apostle here is, that if tnii was 
to be the result, the daty of thosO who 
had this knowledge was plain, t ShaU 
iffietveak brother. The uninformed and 
Ignorant Christian. That it means a 
raal Christian there can be no doubt 
For (1.) It is the usual term by which 
Christians are dengnated-^the endeap> 
lUg name of brother/ and (2.) The 
seope of the passage requites it so to 
be understood. See Note, Rom. xir. 
80. ^Perish, Be destroyed; ruined; 
loM. Note, John x. S8. So the word 
igreKUTdu propcfrly and usually signi- 
fies. Tlie sense is, that the tendeneu 
of this course would be to lead the weak 
brother into sin, to apostasy, and to 
rdin. But this does not prove that 
any who were truly conirerted should 
i^postatixe and be lost; for (1.) There 
ttaj be a tendency to a thing, and yet 
ttax tiling may never happen. It may 
be arrested, and the event not occur. 
(8.) The warning designed to prevent 
it may be effectual, and be the means 
ef saving. A man in a canoe floaifing 
down tbB Niagara liVer maj have a 
tendeney to go over the faHs ; but he 
may be nailed from the shore, and the 
ludling maybe effectual, and he may 
be saved. l%e call to him was de* 
tigned to save hhn, and actua^ had 
that effect So it may be in tibe warn- 
ings to ChristianB. (8.) The aposfle 
does not say that any true Chnstian 
Would be lost He puis a q[uestlon; 
end affirms that if one thing vras done, 
mioiher might follow. Bnt this is not 
affibrming that any one would be lost 
i^ I nJgjbit n^thtttt/the man eon- 

perish, for whom Christ died? 
12 Bnt * when ye sin ao 

W— ——»■>■*■ ■^^^■^^ ■ I m a m ^i^— — —— *» 

tinued to float on towards the fidls of 
Niagara, he would be destroyed. If <mq0 
thing was done, the other would be a 
consequence. But this would be very- 
difibrent from a statement tiiat a man 
had aetuaUy gone over Ihie fails, and 
been lost (4.) It Is elsewhere abun- 
dantiy proted that no one who has 
been truly conceited will apostatise 
and be destroyed. See Notes, John >• 
28. Comp. Note, Rom. viiL 29, dO, 
1 For whom ChriH died. This U 
u^ged as an aigument why we shlMdid 
not do toiy ^ing thai would tend tO 
destroy the souls of men. And, no 
stronger argument ooold be used. The 
argument is, that we i^oukf not do any 
thing that would tend to fruftrste the 
work of Christ, that would render tim 
shedding of his blood vmu. Th(B poeri* 
biUty of doing -tins is urged ; and that 
bare possibility should d«ter us frook m 
course of conduct that migfat have due 
tendency. It is an appeal drawn from 
the deep and tender love, the suflh^ 
ings, axid the dying groans of the. Son 
of God. If M enduied so much to 
M»e the soul, assure^ we dtould not 
porsue a course that would tend l» 
dBHroy it If he denied himself so 
nrach to redeem, we shouid not, as> 
suredly, be so fond oi selfgratiAeatioii 
as to be unwil&ig to abandon - any 
thing that would tend to dutrotf, 

12. But when ye einso agamai tk^ 
brethren. Thin is dengned further to 
show the evil of causing others to am ; 
and hence the evil which nn^ anss 
from partaking oi the meat offend •» 
idols. The word wi here is to bs 
taken in the sense of injuring, ojffhu^ 
ingf kadin^ into ain. Ton vieisle 
the law which requires yon to lofn 
your brethren, and to seek their wet- 
frre, and thus yon sin against than* 
Sm fs property i^fainst God ; bnt them 
msiy l»i a oourse of injury punracd 
against men, or doing Chem injusllos 
or wrong, and diis is ein agalnsl 
them. Ohfisliansarebo«idledo^H«^ 

A. D. 59.] 

G^piisR vm. 


against the breihren, and wound 
their weak . conscience, ye sin 
against Christ. 

13 Whesefoxe, if meat make 

towuds 8lL Y And wound thtir wetdk 
mueUnee. Th<t wend utound hen 
{vthrromc, tmUingj heiatin^ is takai 
in ttw seaae of in/urt. Their oon- 
mkeaow «e UI-iiif<sniied» They hsvs 
not the knowledge ^riikh yon have. 
And bjT your canduct they are led fi»- 
ther into eiror, ind beyieve 1|ut tile 
iA(A is somedring, and is to be bonooied. 
Thef are tbua ted into am, and their 
oonacienoe i» more and more pervertcc^ 
and ctppremmA more and more with a 
senile of guilt, t Ye sin agamst Chriid* 
Because (1.) Christ has ooramaaded 
yon to love them, and seek tlwir good, 
and not to lead them'&to tin; and 
(2.^ Because they an so intimately 
vmtod to Christ (Notes> John zr. l,4kc,) 
that to ofiend them is to oflbnd him; 
to injure the members is to injure the 
h«td ; to destroy their aonts is to pain 
his heart and to injure his eause. 
Mdle, Matt x. 40. Comp. Luke z. 16. 
13. TFftere/^re. As die eonchuloB 
d the whote matter. 5 If f^^aty dbc 
TM. here proposes his own Tiews and 
feelings, <^ teUs them (how he would 
«et in order to show them how they 
ifeinild act in these dreurastanoea. 
f'Make my hrMtr to o^bidL Lead 
hSm'into nn ; or shall be the cause of 
leading him into eTr6r and guilt It 
d^ not niMn, if the eating of meat 
should enrage at irrHate Bno&er; but 
tf it is the occasion Ot hia being led 
hlto tram^gresubn. How thli nug^t 
be done is stated in Ter. 10. t Iwiii 
mt no flak, dec My eating meit is a 
audter of comparative unimportaiiee. 
I ean dispense witit it It is of inueh 
leiM impof^aioe to me than happiness, 
a good oonsdence, and salvation an to 
Bsy brotfier. And the law. of kwn 
flierefere to him fe^nins me to deny 
ftqwOt TaflMlr than to be dia oecasiott 
of leading him into «t This is a 
aoUe nsohilion; msA madu a gMat,] 

my brother to o>Seiid,.I witt eal 
no flesh while the worid stand- 
eth, lest • I make my brother to 

disinlerasled, and magnanimous spirit 
It is a spirit, tbat seeks the good of all $ 
that can deny itself ; that is supremely 
anxious iat the glory of God and tlie. 
salvation of man, and that can make 
penonal comfort and gmtification su^ 
servient to the good of othecs. It was 
the prindple on which Paul always 
acted; and is the vevy spirit of tho 
self-denying Son of God. 1 WUk 
the world ^mtdeth, Greek, For over. 
The phiase 'I vriil never eat meat' 
would express the idea. ^LesHnuikef 
dec Rather than lead hininiiito sin» 
by my indul^ttg in eating tibo meat 
ofifered in sacnfice to idob. 

lliis <diaptar is very in^rinnt, as it 
settles someoftnc|p&s in rogard to tfa» 
conduct of Unristians ; and shows how 
they should act in reference to tbioga 
that are indfgerenif or which ki them^ 
selves can be eonsidered as neilhflr right 
n0rwreng;'and in refiarenoe to those 
things which may be considered in 
theBolv^es as r^hi and Jmvfui, but 
whose indidgenco might injurct-olhenl 
And from the chapter we leam,-*— 

1st That Chmtians, though thegr 
are truly converted, yet may have SMny 
enoneous views and feoKngs in refer* 
enpe to many things, ver. 6. Thio 
vrss true of those converted fiom ancient 
heathenisin> and it is true of those who 
are now converted from heathenism^ 
ond of all young co n v ert s. Fetmer 
opinions, aad prqudices^ and evua 
suptrrtitiotts abide long in the miad^ 
and cast a long and wiAmriBg infln- 
enee over the regions d Christian 
piety. The momii^ dawn Is at firil 
v«ty obscure. The change £roni n^(hl 
to daybroak is at first aeareely per* 
eeptSblew And so it mi^ be in con- 
vonlon. The -views whidi a heathon 
emertamed ftom Iris drildhood cotf 
not at ones be luMoved. The iote 



[A. D. $9. 

enoo of eorrapt apiaioiis and feelings, I ledge have sIbo been distingniidied for 

which a sfamer hae long indulged, may 
travel over in his conversion, and may 
long endanlfer his piety and destroy 
his peace. Corrupt and infidel thoughts, 
associations of pollution, cannot be de- 
' Btroyed at once; and we are not to 
expect from a child in *dM Christian 
life, the liill vigour, and the elevated 
principle, and the strength . to resist 
temptation, which we expect of the 
^raan matured in the service of the 
Lord Jesus. This diould lead na to 
duariiy in regard to tt» imperfections 
and fellings of young converts; to a 
^willingness to aid and counsel them; 
to carefiilne»8 not to lead them into 
sin ; and it should lead us not to expect 
the -same amount of piety, zeal, and 
purity in converts from degraded hea- 
thens, which we expect in Christian 
limds, and where converts have been 
trained up under all the advantages of 
Sahbath-sdioohi and. Bibi&«lasses. 

3d. Oar opinions should be formed, 
and our treatment o£ others regfukted, 
not by abstract knotokdge, but by lore, 
ver. 1. A man is usutdly much more 
likely to act right who is influenced 
by icharity and love, than one who is 
guided by simple knowledge, or by self* 
oonfidence. One is faumUe, kind, ten- 
der towards the frailties of others, sen- 
sible himself of infirmity, tndiBdiipoged 
to do right; the other may be vain, 
harsh, censorious, unkind, and severe. 
Knowledge is usefiil ; but fer the prac- 
tical purposes of life, in an erring and 
feHen world, love is more useful ; and 
while tiie one oltea leads astmy, the 
o&er seldom -errs* Whatever know^ 
loige we may have, we should make it 
a point from which we are never to 
depart, that our opinions of others, and , 
our treatment of them, shotdd befonned 
under the iniuenoe-of love. 
> 9d. We should not be self<confident 
df our wisdom, ver. 3* Religion pro- 
duces humility. Mere knowledge may 
ffil the he«t with pride and vanity. 
True knowledge is not inconsistent 
wiUi- humility; but it must be j<^ed 
with a Aecir^ that is right The men 
^aft hfl;v6 been most eminent in knoiw- 

humility; but the heart was right; and 
they saw the folly of depending on 
mere knowledge. 

4&. There is but one Ood. ver. 4^^. 
This great truth lies at the feun<|itioa 
of all true religion ; and yet is so sim* 
pie that it may be known by all Chris* 
riani^ however humble, and is to be 
pretwned to be known by all. Bu^ 
though simple, k is a grpat and glorious 
troth. To keep this before the minds 
of mm was one .great purpose of all 
God's revelations ; and to communi- 
cate it tomen is now the grand object 
of aU missionaiy enteiprises. The 
world is ^11 of idoJs and idolaters ; but 
the knowledge <^ this simple truth 
would change ^e mond aspect of the 
^tire globe. To spread this truth 
should be the great aim and purpose 
of all true Christians ; and when this 
truth is spread, the idols of the heathen 
will faU to the dust. 

5&. Christians acknowledge one and 
only one Lord. ver. 6. He rules over 
tibem. His laws bind them. He con-, 
trols them* Ha has a right to them. 
Ha can dispose of them as he pleases. 
They axe fiot their own ; but are bound 
to live .entirely to him, and fer &e pro- 
motion ef his cause. 

6th. It becomes Christians to exkx^ 
(3se eontinual ciBtre, lest their conduct, 
even in things which are in themselvefl 
lawful, shoukl bo the. occasion of lead* 
ing othem into sin. ver. 9. Christiana 
veiy often pursue a course of conduct 
which may not be in itself unlawful, 
but which may lead others who hove 
not theb intelligei^LOe, or strength of 
prindple, into error. One man may 
be safe where is in dw^ 
gei^ One man may be able to resist 
temptationf which wou}d entirely over* 
come another. A course of life may, 
perhaps, be safe for a man of years 
and of mature judgment, which would 
be ruinous to a young motn. And the 
grand principle here should be, not to 
do that, evod though it may be lawful 
itself which would be the oocaaiosi 
of leading others mto sin. 

Tthi We see hero the importancit 

A. D* S9.1 



aad4lwpow«r«fcSHqpli. vk. 10^11. 
Nothing M of mofto iRptue Ann a oonreci 
Christian exas^e. And this applies 
particolariy* to those who are m tiie 
more elevated ranks of life, who occupy 
stations of importance, who are at the 
head of families, coUeges, and schools. 
The ignorant will he likely to follow 
the example of the learned ; the poor 
of the rich; those in humble life will 
imitate the manners of the great Even 
in things, therefore, which may not be 
in themselves unlawful in these dr- 
eumstances, they 8h9uld set an example 
«f self-denial, of fdainness, of absti- 
nence, for the sake of those beneath 
them. They should so live that it 
would be safe and right for all to imi- 
tate their example. Christ, though he 
was rich, yet so lived that aU may 
M&ly imitate him; though he was 
honoured of God, and extdted to the 
highest office as die Redeemer of the 
wodd, yet he lived so that all in every 
rank xnay follow him ; though he had 
■n power, and was worshipped by 
angels, yet so lived that he might teadk 
the most humble and lowly hew to live ; 
tiid so lived that it is safe and proper 
for all to live as he did. So should 
every monarch, and prince, and rich 
nan; every noble, and every learned 
man ; every man of honour and office ; 
every master of a fiunily, and every 
inan o£ age and wisdom, live that aU 
others may learn of them Aoto to live, 
and that they may safely walk in their 

8th. We have here a noble instance 
of tile principles on which Paul was 
willing to act. ver. 13. He was willing 
to deny himself of any gratification, i? 
his conduct was likely to be the occa- 
sion of leading others into sin. Even 
from that which was in itself lawful he 
would abstain for ever, if by indulgence 
be would be the occasion of another's 
lallii^ into transgression. But how 
rare is this virtue I How seldom is it 
pradfised! How few Christians and 
Christian ttunisters are there who deny 
themselves any gratification in things 
in themselves rQ^t, lest they should 
Indiioe otben to sin ! And yel tins ii 

the grand t«iiM^ of Cfaristianitjr ; 
and this should influence and guide 
fldl the professed fidends and followm 
of Christ This frindpk might bef 
roplied to many tbmgs in which many 
Chfisttaas now^«ely uadolge; and if 
applied, would* produce great and ioK 
poitant dbanges in society. (1.) Ear* 
tertdnments and ftasts wUcfa, pemaps» 
yo« may be able to afford (that i% 
affiird in the supposition that, what 
you have is yours, and not the Loid'a)^ 
may lead many of those who oannot 
sffovd it to imitate you, and to involv« 
themselves in debt, iit etxtravaganosiy in 
min. (3.) You might jMsnd/y be safe 
at a festival, at a public dinner, or in n 
large party; but your example would 
encourage ofhero where «ey would 
not be safe ; and yet, how could yea 
w^y should they ssy that yon wem 
there, end that mey were encouraged 
by you 1 (d.^ On, the soppontion tha^ 
the use of vnne and othisr fermented 
liqnora may be in tJbemselves lawfiilfi 
and that you might be safe in using 
them, yet Men may be led by . yonr 
example to an improper use of them, 
or contTKt a taste for stimulating drinks 
that may end in their ruin. Would it 
be right §QiT you to continue the use of 
wine in such cinsumstances 1 Would 
Paul have done iti Would he nol 
have adopted the noble principle in this 
chapter, that he would not touch it 
while the world stands, if it led him tpt 
sini (4.) You might be safe in a 
party of jimusement, in the eirele of tha 
gay, and in scenes of merriment and 
mirth. I say you mi^ be, though 
the suppositton is wckk/Aj pombk that 
Christian ^nety is ever safe in su<4i 
scenes, and though it is certain that 
Paul or the Saviour would not have been 
found there. But how vrill it be for the 
young, and for ihose of less strength 
of Christian liituel WiU they be 
safe therel WiU they beable to guard 
against these anuiements as yon could ! 
Will they not be led into the love of 
gayety, vanity, and feUjr 1 And wfaai 
would Paul have done in such cases? 
What would Jeaus Christ have done 1 
Whnt should Christiana nowidol Thi» 





I* not an apostle ? am I 
not free ? have I not " seen 

siogle principle, if fiiul; applied, would 
go fiff to change the aspeet of the Chris- 
tian worid. If all Chiikians had Paul's 
delicate sensibilities, and Paul's strength 
of Christian virtue, and Paul's willing- 
ness to deny himself to benefit others, 
the aspect of tb» Christian world would 
soon change. . How many pmetiGes 
DOW freely indulged in would be abao- 
dimed! And how soon would every 
Christian be seen to set such an exam- 
ple that all others could safely follow it ! 
Ths apostle had in ch.viii. 13, men- 
tioned hw willingness to deny himself 
if he mighty the means of benefiting 
others. On mis principle he had acted ; 
and on this he purposed to act The 
mention of this principle of action seems 
to have led him to a jforther illustration 
of it in his^wn case, and in the illus- 
tltttion to meet an objection that had 
beeii urged 8^;ainst him at Corinth; 
and the scope of this chapter seems to 
have been not onfy to give an iUustrO' 
twn of tins . principle (see ch. ix. 37), 
but to show that this principle on which 
he acted would account for his conduct 
when with them, and would meet all 
the objections which had been made 
gainst his apostlesbip. These objec- 
tions seem to have been, (1.) That he 
had not seen Jesus Christ ; and there- 
hn could not be an apostle, ver. 1. 
(9.) That he did not live like the oCiier 
apostles, that be was unmarried, w^ a 
solitary man, and a wanderer, and was 
unlike the other apostles in his mode 
of life, not indulging as apostles might 
do in the ordinary comforts of life. 
V6r..4> 5. (3.) That he and Barnabas 
were compelled to labour for their sup- 
port,^ and were conscious, therefore, that 
they had no pretensidns to the apostolic 
office. Ter. 6. And (4.) That the fact 
tiiat he vras unsuppUed; that he did 
not apply to Christians fi>r his main- 
tenance ; that he did not urge this as 
A nght, flbowed that he was conscioui 

[A. D, 59. 

Jesus Christ oQrL(»d? are not 
ye my Voik * in the Lord ? 

aA€tB9J,17. frc.4.15. 

that he had no claims, to the apostolic 
character and rank. 

To all this he replies in this chapter; 
and the main drift and design of bis. 
reply is, to'show that he acted on the 
principle suggested in.cli. viii. 13, that^ 
of denjdng himself; and consequently, 
that though he had a right to main- 
tenance, yet that the &ct that he did 
not urge that right was no proof that 
he was not sent from God, but was 
rather a proof of his being actuated by 
the high and holy principles which 
ought to influence those who were 
called to this c^ce. In urging this 
reply, he shows, — 

(1.) That he had seen Jesus Christ,, 
and had this qualification for the ofiSce 
of an apostle. Ver. 1. 

(2.) That he had the powc»r' like 
others to partake of the common enjoy- 
ments of life, and that his not doing it 
was no proof that he was not an apos- 
tle, ver. 4. 

(3.) That he was not prohibited from 
entering the domestic relations as others 
had done, but had the right to enjoy 
the same privileges if he chose; and 
that his not doing it was no proof that 
he was not an apostle, but was an in- 
stance of his denying himself for the 
good of others, ver. 6. 

(4.) That he was not under a neces-^ 
sity of labouring with his own hands, 
but that he might have required sup- 
port as others did ; that his labouring 
was only another instance of his readi- 
ness to deny himself to promote the 
welfare of others, ver. 6. 

This sentiment he illustrates througK 
the remainder of the chapter by show- 
ing that he had a right to support in 
the work of the apostlesbip, and that 
his not insisting on it was an instance 
of his being willing to deny himself 
that he might do good to others ; that 
he did not urge this right because to 
do that might injure the cause (ver. 
12, 15) ; and that whether he received 

• IP>PI«" IP" - 




sapporC or np^ he wft» bound to preadi 
the gospeL lu this he showa (a) (ver. 
7—10. 13) Th^ God gave hun the 
right to support if he diose to exercise 
it; (by That it was equHMe 4faat he 
.dKmld be supported (ver. 1 1) ; (e) That 
the Lord had ordaiaed 'this as a gen** 
ial few, that they which preadked the 
•go^lshovkL live bf it (ver. 14) ; {d) 
)^t%at he had not chosen to avail himseif 
of it because it might do injury (ver. 
12. 1&^ ; (e) That necessity was laid 
upon him at all events to preach the 
gospel (ver. 18) ; (/) ^hatif hedid this 
witiioat ui earthly reward, he would 
be rewarded in beaten in a distin- 
goiahed manner ( ver« 1 7, 1 8) ; (^) Tlmt 
he had made it the grand principle of 
hb hfe, not to make money, but to save 
■outs, and that he had sought diis by a 
course of continued self-deiual (ver. 
19—22)} (h) That aU this was done for 
the sake of toe gospel (ver. 28); and (i) 
IQiai he had a grand and glorious, object 
in view, which required hiav aftw the 
nuinner ttf the Alhletae, to keep bis 
body under, to practise seil^dennl, to 
be temperate, to -forego many comforts 
of which he might otiberwise have par- 
taken, and that the grandeur and glory 
of this object was enough to justify all 
his self-denial, and to make all his 
ncnficee pleasant ver. 24—27. 

Thus tiie whole chapter is an tno- 
denial discussion of the iubject of his 
•poetfeship, in ilkutration of the senti* 
ment advanced in ch. viit. 13, that he 
was .willing to practise self-denial for 
&e good of others ; and is one of the 
most elevated, heavenly, and beautiful 
discussions in the New Testament, and 
contains^ one of the mo^ ennobling 
desolations of the vktoe of self-demal, 
and of the principles which should actu- 
ate the Christian ministry^ anywhere 
to be found. All dassie writings would 
be seaibbed .in vain, and idl records of' 
pnofiqie history, for an inetance of sudi 
fue and elevated principle as is pre- 
aented in this chapter. 

1. Am J not an apoatk ? This was 
tiie point to be settled ; and it is pro- 
bable that sokne at Corinth had denied 
that he aoitld be lan apeatle, irinee jt 

was requisite, in on^r to, that, to have 
seen the Lord Jesus; and since it was 
su{]3)08ed that Paul had not been a 
witness of bis life, doctrines, and death. 
1 Am I not Jree ? Am I not a fiee 
.man; have I not the' hberty which aU 
Christians possess, and especially which 
all the apostles possess 1 i The Ubertjf 
referred to here is doubtless the privi- 
lege or right of abstaining fircun labour; 
of enjoying as others did the domestic 
rel^ions of life ; and of a support as a 
public minist^ and apostle. Probably 
some had objected to his claims of apoe- 
tleship that he had not used this right 
and that, he was ccmscious that he had 
no claim to it. By this mode of intei^ 
rogation, he strongly impUes that he 
UHta A freeman, atid that he had this 
right t ffave I not nen Jesus Christ 
our Lord 9 Here it is tmpKed, and 
seems to be admitted by Paul, that is 
order to be «q apostk it was necessary 
to have seen the Saviour. This is 
often declared earpkessly. See Note mi 
Acts L ^1,. 22. The reason of this 
was, that Ae apostles were appointedi 
to be wiTNBssss of the life, doctrines, 
death, and resurrection of the Lord 
Jesus, and that in their being witnesses 
consisted the pxculiahitt of the apos- 
tolic office. . That this was the case is 
abundantly manlfost from Matt sxviiL 
18, 19. Luke xxiv. 48. Acts i. 21, 22 ; 
iik 32 ; X. 39 — 41. Hence it was es- 
sential, in order that any one should 
be such a Witness, and an apostiie, that 
he should have seen the Lord Jesus. 
In the case of Paul, therefore, who was 
called to this offiEoe after the death and 
resurrection of Ihe Saviour, and who 
had not therefore *had an opportunity 
of seeing and hearing him when living, 
this was provided for by the foct that 
the Lord Jesus showed himself to him 
afier his death and ascension, in order 
that he. might have this qualification 
for (he apostolic office. Acts ix. 8 — 6. 
17. To the fact of his having been 
thus m a mtraculous manner qualified 
for the apostolic office, Paul firequently 
appeals,. and always with the 8l^ne 
view that it was neeeseary to have seen 
the Lord Jeew to qualify one for this 




' 2 If I be not aa apocrde imto 
others, yet doubdess I am to 
you: for the seal of mine apos- 

^ee. Acti xxiL 14, 16; xzri 16. 
ICor. XT. 8. It foUows frmn this, 
&erefere, that no oae wm an apos^ 
in the strict and proper seiue who had 
not Men the Lord Jeans. And it fol- 
lows, also, that the apostles eould have 
BO snccesson in that which constitnted 
the PEcuLiAxiTT oi their office; and 
that the office must have eommeneod 
and ended with diem. 5 -^^ nof ye 
my tvork in the Lord ? Have yon net 
|>een converted by my labours, or nnder 
my ministiy; and are you not a proof 
ihat the Lord, when I have been ^Imm- 
ing to be an apostle, has owned me as 
tin apo&tle, and blessed me in this work 1 
God would not give his sancti<m to an 
impostor, and a false pratendbr; and 
as Paul had laboured there as an apoe- 
He, this was an argument tibat he had 
been truly commifisioned of God. A 
minister mmf appeal to the blessing 
of God on his labours in proof that he 
is sent of Him. And one of the best 
of all arguments that a man is sent 
irom God exists where multitudes 6f 
flouls are converted from sin, and turned 
to holiness, by his labours. What bet- 
ter credentials than this can a man 
need tiiat he is in the employ of Grod ? 
What more consoling t6 his own mind 1 
What more satisfiiietory to the world ! 

2. If I be noi em e^osfk anio Gihen. 
-'If I have not given evidence to others 
of my apostolic mission ; of my being 
sent by the Lord Jesus, yet I have to 
you. Assuredly you, among whom I 
have laboured so long and so success- 
fully, should not doubt that I am sent 
from the Lord. Yon have been well 
acquainted with me; you have wit- 
nessed my endowments, you have seen 
my success, and you have had abun- 
dant evidence that I have been sent on 
this great woiiu It is therefore strange 
in you to doubt my apoetotie commis- 
oon; and it is unkind in you so to 
eonstrue my declining to accspt your 
aontributions and aid for myaapport. 

flesMp are ye in the Lord. 

3 Mine answer to tiiem that 
do examine me is this ; 

■■ ■ l—^^l— ■■!■■■ ■ ■ *■ -II H » I ■ I IM 

■B if I were eonsdoiw tipt I was nsl 
entitled to tfaqt' \ For Iht 9tal ^ 
mine apodUtMp. iTour eonvenaon al 
the demonstration tiist I am an apostle. 
Paid uses strong language. He does 
not mean to say that their oonvendon 
formshed aome evidence that he was 
an apostle; but that it wiui abs^ihile 
proo^ and irrefragable demonslratioii, 
that he was an apokle. A teal is that 
which b affixed to a deed, or odier in^ 
-strament, to mi^ it firm, secun^ and 
indisputable. It is the proof or demon- 
stntion q€ the validity of the convey- 
ance, or of the writiog. Notes, John 
iii. d3; ^ 27. The sense here i% 
therefore, thai the conversion of the 
Corinthians was a oertaia demoDstiBi> 
tion that he was an qposUe, and should 
be so regarded by them, and treated by 
them. It was su<^ a proo^ (1.) Bch 
cause Paul claimed to be an apQsOa 
while among them, and God blessed 
and owned ^m claim ; (2.) Their con- 
verrion could not- have been aooexa- 
plished by man. It was the work of 
God. It was the evidence tiien whicfc 
God gave to Paul and to diem j that ha 
was with him, and had sent him. (3.) 
They knew him, had seen him, heasi 
him, were acquainted with lib doe* 
trines and mannor of life, and oonU 
bear testimony to vrhat he was, and 
what he taught. We may xemaik^ 
that the conversion of sinners is the> 
best evidence to a minister tfai^ he is 
sent of God. The divine blessing or 
his labours should cheer his heart, aad 
lead him to believe that God haa aanl 
and that he approves hinu And evecgr 
minister should so Vm and labow^ 
should 80 deny himself that he msgr 
be able to appeal to the people anionic 
whom he JtSboors that he is a miniator 
of the Lord Jesus. 

3. Mme imewer, Gr. *H i^ a(r»>u»- 
yiA. Mj apology f mydefeiioe. Tfan 
saflM word oceuni in Acts zaoL 1 ; 
sxv.M. SCfNr.viLll. PhiLiT.lT. 

A. D. 59.] 



4 Have we not power U> eat 
and to drink ? 

S Tun. W. 16. 1 Pet. in. 15. See Note, 
Acts xxii. 1. Here it meam hte an- 
swer, or defence against those who sat 
In judgment on his cimms to be an 
apostle. 5 ^ ^^^^"^ ^^ ^ examine 
me. To fliose who mquire of me ; or 
who censure and condemn me as not 
having any claims to the apostolic o& 
fice. The word used here (ifox^im) is 
properly a forensic term, and is usnaliy 
applied to judges in courts; to those 
who sit in judgment, and investigate 
and decide in S^gated cases brought 
before them. Luke xziii. 14. Actsir. 
9 ; zii. 19 ; xxiv. 8. The apostle here 
may possibly allude to the arrogance 
and pride of those who presumed to sit 
as judges on. his qualification for the 
apostoHc office. It is not meant that 
this answer had been g^ven by Paul 
before this, but that this was the 
defence which he had to oll^. 5 ^ 
this. This which follows; the state- 
ments which are made in the following 
verses. In these statements (ver. 4, 5, 
6, &c.) he seems to have designed to 
' take up their objections to his apostolic 
claims one by one, and to show that 
they were of no force. 

4. Have we not power (}(oi^ietv). 
Have we not the right. The word 
power here is evidently used in the 
aense of right (comp. John i. 13, mar- 
gin) ; and the apostle means to say 
fliat tiiough they had not exercised this 
right by demanding a nudntenance, 
y«t it was not because they were con- 
•cious that they had no such right, but 
because they chose to forego it for wise. 
and important purposes. ^ To eat and 
to drfnk. To be maintained at the ex- 
pense of those among whom we labSur. 
Have we not « right to demand that 
ihey shall yield ns a proper support ? 
By the interrogative form of the state* 
ment, Panl intends more strongly to 
qfftrm that (bey had such a right The 
interrogative mode is often adopted to 
express the strongest affirmation. The 
Rectum here ur^ seems to have been 


5 Ha?e we not power to lead 
about a siater, a ^wife, as well 

> ori vDoman. 

this, <You, Paul and Barnabas, labour 
with your own hands. Acts xviiL 8. 
Other religions teachers lay daim lo 
maintenance, and are supported with«iit 
personal labour. This is the case witki 
pagan 'Itnd Jewish priests, and with 
Christian teachers among ns. Yon 
must be conscious, therefore, that yoc 
are not aposfles, and that yon have ne 
daim or right to support.' To tiiis tfas 
ahswer of Paul Is, ' We admit that we 
labour with our own hands. But yo« 
inference does not follow. It is not be- 
cause vre have not a right to sodi sup- 
port, and it is not because we are con* 
seious that we have no such daun, but 
it is for a higher purpose. It is becanie 
it will do good if we shouki not urge this 
right, and enforce thu claim.' That thsv 
had such a right, Paul proves at imglll 
in the subeeque'ht part of the chapter* 
5. Hcofe we not power ? Have w<s 
not a right 1 The objection here seesM 
to have been, that fNnil and Barnabas 
were unmarried, or at least that they 
travelled vrithont wives. The objeotois 
urged that otiiera had wives, and that 
they took tiwm with them, and expected 
provision to be made for them as weH 
as for themsdves. They therefore 
showed that they felt that they had a 
eh^ to support for their femiUes, and 
that they vrere consdous that they wem 
sent of <jlod. But Paul and Barnabas 
had no femifies. And the objectors in- 
ferred tiiat they wdre conscious that they 
had no claim to the aposdeship, anJne 
right to support To this Paul r^ioe 
as before, t^ they had a right to do as 
others did, but they chose not to do it 
for other reasons than that they wen 
consdous that they had no such right 
Y To had about. To have in attend 
ance witii us ; to conduct from place to 
place ; and to have tiiem maintained aft 
the expense of the churdies among^ 
which we labour. ^ A sister ^ a wifik 
Marg. "or woman.*' This phrase has 
mu<^ perplexed commentators. But 
tiie nmple meaning seems to be, * A wifii 




|A.D. 595. 

as other ftposdes, and aa the bre- 

who should be a Christian, and regard- 
ed as sustaining the relation of a Chris- 
tian sister.' Probably Paul meant to 
•dvert to the fact that the wives of the 
apostles fvere and ahouidhe Christians ; 
and that it was a matter of course, that 
if an apostle led about a wife she would 
be a Christian ; or that he would marry 
no other. Comp. 1 Cor. iii. 11. % Aa 
well as other apostles. It is evident 
from this tiiat the apostles generally 
were married. The phrase used here 
it 01 Konro) dDrdoToxoi (the remaining 
mmtles, or the other apostles). And if 
utey were married, it is right and pro- 
per for ministers to marry now, what- 
ever the papist may say to the contrary. 
It Is safer to follow the ozample of the 
apostles than the opinions of the papal 
church. The reasons why the apos- 
tles had wives with them on their jour- 
neys may have been various. They 
nay have been either to give instruc- 
tion and counsel to those of their own 
MX to whom the apostles could not 
have access, or to minister to the wants 
pf their husibands as they travelled. It 
|0 to be remembered that they travelled 
among heathens ; they had no acquaint- 
ance and no iiiends there ; they there- 
fore took mth themlheir female firiends 
and wives to minister to them, and sus- 
tain them in sickness, trial, &c Paul 
iays that he and Barnabas had a right 
to do this ; but they had not used this 
right because they chose rather to make 
tlw gospel without charge (ver. 18), 
and that thus they judged they could 
do more good. It follows from tlus, (1.) 
That it is right for ministers to marry, 
and that the papal doctrine of the celi- 
bacy of the diergy is contrary to apos- 
tolic example. (2.) It is right for 
nissionaries to marry, and to take their 
wives with them to heathen lands. 
The iipostles were missionaries, and 
fpent their lives in heathen nations as 
missionaries do now, and there may be 
m good reasons for missionaries marry- 
mg now as there were then. (3.) Yet 
4l0n are men* like Paul, who can do 

threa of the Lord, and Cephas ? 

more good' without being married. 
There are circumstances, like his, where 
it is not advisable that they should mar- 
ry, and there can be no doubt that Paul 
regarded the unmarried state £>r a mis- 
sionary as preferable and advisable. 
Probably the same is to be. said of most 
missionaries at the present day, that 
they could do more good if unmarried, 
than they can if burdened wiCh the 
cares of families. ^ And as the brethren 
of the ImtcL The brothers of the Lord 
Jesus,— James and Joses, and Simon 
and Judas. Matt xiiL 55. It seema 
from this, that although at ^ist they did 
not believe in him .(John vii. 5), and 
had regarded him as disgraced (Mark 
iii. 21), yet that they had subsequently 
become converted, and were employed 
as ministers and evangelists. It is evi* 
dent also from this statement that they 
were married,, and were attended with 
their wives in their travels. % And 
Cephas. Peter. Note, John L 42. Thia 
proves, (1.) as well as the declaration 
in Matt viii. 14, that Peter had been 
married. (2.) That he had a wife after 
he became an ^ypostle, and while en^ 
gaged in the work of the ministry. (3.) 
That his vrife accompanied him in his 
travels. (4.) That it is right and pro- 
per for ministers and missionaries to be 
married now. Is it not strange that the 
pretended successor of Peter, the pope 
of Rome, should forbid marriage wh<eo 
Peter himself was married 1 Is it i^qI 
a proof how little the papacy regards die 
Bible, and the example and authori^ 
^f those from whom it pretends to 4^ 
rive its power 1 And is it not strangfi 
that this doctrine of the celibacy of the 
clergy, which has been the source oi\ 
abomination, impurity, and Ucentioua* 
ness everywhere, should iuive been sus* 
tained and countenanced at all by the 
Christian world 1 And is it not strange 
that this, with all the other corrupt doc- 
trines of the papacy, should be attempt 
ed to be imposed on the enlightened 
people of the United States, as a part of 
the religion of Christ ? 

AvD. 59J 



6 Or I only and Barnabas, 
have not we " power to forbear 
working ? 


6. Or J only <md Bamabaa Paul 
aad Barnabas had wrought together as 
tent-makers at Corinth* Acts- xviii. 3. 
From this fiict it had been inferred that 
they knew that they had no claim to a 
support. 1[ Power to forbear working, 
To-^abstain from labour, and to receive 
support as others do. The quesUon 
implies a strong affirmation tlutt they 
had such power.. The sense ies * Why 
flhouid I uid Barnabas be regarded as 
having no right to support 1 Have we 
been less faithful than others 1 Have 
we done lessl Have we given fewer 
evidences that we are sent by the Lord, 
or that God approves' us in our work 1 
Have we been less* successful 1 Why 
Aen should we be singled out; and 
why should it be supposed that we are 
obliged to labour for our support ? Is 
tkere no other conceivable reason why 
We should support ourselves than a 
.ConflciousnesB that we have no right to 
support from the people with whom we 
labour 1^ It lis evident firom ver.. 12, 
that Barnabas as wdl as Paul relin- 
quished his right to a support, and 
laboured to maintain himself. And ^t 
is manifest from the whole passage, 
that there was some peculiar " spleen" 
(fioddridge) agaiost these two minis- 
ten of the gospel. What it was we 
know not. It might have arisen from 
the enmity and of^sUion of Judaizing 
teachers, who were offended at their 
zeal and success among the Greotiles, 
and who could find no other cause of 

^ complaint against them than that they 
" chose to support thems^es, and not 
live in idieness, or to tax the church 
/or their support Th^ must have been 
a bad cause which was sustained by 
such an argument 

7. Wto gqeth a warfare^ && Paul 
now proceeds to illustrate the nieHT 
which he knew ministeis had to a sup- 
port (ver, 7—14), and then to show 
the BSASoir why he had not availed 

7 Who goetfa a warfare * any. 
time at hiB own charges? who 
planteth ' a vineyard, and eateth 

b lTim.1.18. c Deut^.6. Pr.27,18. 

' * " ' ■ ■ 

right he illustrates from the nature of 
the case (ver. 7.. 11); from the ao^ 
thority of SciiptuBe (ver. 8 — 10) ; from 
the example of the priests under the 
Jewish law (ver. 13); and from the 
authority of Jestis Christ ver. 14. In 
this verse (7th).the right is enforced by 
the nature of the ease, and by three 
illustrations. The first is, the right of ' 
a soldier or warrior to his wages. The 
Christum ministry is . eompared to a 
warfare, and the Christtan minister to 
a soldier. Con^*. 1 Tim., i. 18. The 
soldier had a rig^t to receive psfy from 
him who employed him. He did not go 
at his own expense. This was a matter- 
of common equity;, and on this princi- 
ple all acted who enlisted as soldiers. 
So Paul says it is but equitable also 
that &e soldier of the Lord Jesus should 
be sustained, and should not be required 
to support himsdif. And why, we may 
ask, should he be, any more than the- 
man who devotes his strength, and 
time, and talents to. the defence of his 
country > The work of the ministiy is 
as arduous, and as seif^ienyittg, and 
perhaps as dangesom^ as the work of a 
soldier; and common justice, therefore^ ■ 
demands Ihat ho who devotes his youth, 
and health, and Hfe to it, for the benefit 
of others, should have a competent sup- 
port Why should not he receive a 
competent support who' seeks to save 
men, as weU as he who lives to destroy 
them 1 Why not he' who endeavours 
to recover them to God*, and make them 
pure and happy, as weM as he who lives 
to destroy life, and pour out human 
blood, and to fill the air with the shrieks 
of new-made widows and orphans 1 Or 
why not he- who seeks, tl^ough in jan* 
othep mode, to defend the great interests 
of his country, and to nudntcdn the . 
interaste of justice, truth, and mercy, 
for .the benefit of mankind, as well as 
he Who is wilting in the tented field to 
spood his time^ or exhaust his health 
hiiDself of that right ver. 15— 33» Theiand lifein pcoteetiiig the rightaof tlN» . 



[A. D. 59. 

not of the fruit thereof? or who 
feedeth ' a flock, and eateth not 
of the milk of the flock ? 

a IPet J.2. 

Bilion 1 ^ Mhis own ekarjget* His 
own expenfle. On the meuiing of the 
word "charges" (^wm) see Note, 
Luke iiL 14 ; oomp. Rom. vi. 33. 2 Cor. 
zi 8. The word does not ooenr dse* 
where in the New Testament, t ^^^ 
pkmieih a vineyard, dbc This is the 
$eeoind illustratiaa from the nature of 
the case, to show that ministers of the 
geopel have a right to support The 
argument is this : 5 It is reasonable that 
those who labour should have a iiiir 
compensation. A man who plants a 
^eyaid does not expect to labour ias 
nothing ; he expects support from that 
labour, uid looks for it from the Tine- 
jaid. The vineyard owes its beauty, 
growth, and productiveness to him. It 
is reasonable, therefore, that firom that 
vineyard he should receive a support, 
as a compensation for his toil. So we 
labour for your welfare. Yon derive 
advantage from our tdL We impend 
our time, and strength, and talent for 
your benefit ; and it is reasonable that 
we should foe suj^ported while we thus 
labour for your good.' The church of 
Qod is often ^compared to a vineyard / 
and this adds to the beauty of this illus- 
tration. Seel8a.v. 1-— 4. Notes, Luke 
XZ.9— 16. ^WAofeedeth*aJloek,&c, 
Thii is the third illustration drawn from 
the nature of the case, to show that 
ministers have a right to suj^Mrt. The 
word ** feedefli" (yrtajuuUw) denotes not 
only to feedt but to guard, protect, de- 
fend, as a shepherd does his flod^ See 
Kotes, John xxi. 1 5 — 1 7. " The wages 
of the shepherds in the Bast do not 
consist of ready money, but in a part 
of the milk of the flocks wHch they 
tend. Thus Spon says of the shepherds 
in modem Greece, 'These diepherds 
are poor Albanians, who feed the cattle, 
and live in huts built of rushes : they 
have a tenth part of tiie milk and of the 
Iambs, which is their whole wages: the 
cattle belong to the Turks.' The shep- 
heids in Bthiopia, alao^ aeeocding to 

8 Say I these things as a man? 
or saith not the law the same 
also ? 

Alvarez, have no pay except the nulk 
and butter which &ey obtain from the 
cows, and on which they and their 
fiumlies mAxaaL^^'-^ItoaenntuUer, The 
ciiurch is ofren compared to a flock. 
See Note, John x. 1, itc The argu- 
ment here is Ais : * A idiepherd spends 
his days and nights in* guarding his 
folds. He leads his flock to green pas- 
tures, he. conducts them to still waters 
(comp. Ps. xxiiL 2) ; he defends tbein 
from enemies; he guards the young, 
the sick, the feeble, Sce» He spends his 
time in protecting it and providing fer iL 
He expects support, when in tibe. wil- 
derness or in the postures, mainly from 
the milk which the flock should frimicOt. 
He labours for flieir comfort ; and it ii 
proper that be should derive a mainte- 
nance from tiiem, and he has a right to 
it. So the minister of the gospel watches 
for the good of souls. He devotes his 
time, strength, learning, talents, to their 
welfere. He instructs, guides, directs, 
defends; he endeavours lb guard them 
against their spiritual enemies, and to 
lead them in the path of comfort and 
peace. He lives to instruct the igno- 
rant; to warn and secure those who 
are in danger ; to guides the perplexed ; 
to reclaim the wandering; to comfract 
the ifficted; to bind up the broken in 
heart; to attend on the dck; to be an 
example and an instructsr to the young ; 
and to be a counsellor and a pattern to 
all. As he labours for their good, it as 
no more than equal and ri^t that they 
should minister to his temporal wants, 
and compensate him for his efforts to 
promote their happiness and salvaiioii. 
And can any man say that tibis is iroT 
right and just 1 

8. iSSa^ / these thingt tu a man f 
Do I spMik this <Hi my own authority. 
Of without the sanction of God 1 Im 
not this, wUch ai^caiH to be so reascMh- 
able and equitable, also supported bf 
flie authority of God 1 \ Or saith noi 
the kuf tho sam€ akof The law of 

Ai D. 59.] 

9 For it is written* in the low 
of Moses, Thou shalt not nmz« 
zle the mouth of the ox that 

a Deut.25.4.. lTim.g.ia. 

Moses, to which the Jeufish part of the 
church at Corinth— which probably had 
maiiily urged these objections— profess- 
ed to bow with' deference. Paul was 
jtccuBtomed, especiidly in arguing with 
Ihe Jews, te derive his proofis from the 
Old Testament. In the previous renae 
he had shown that it was equitable that 
ministers of the gospel should be sup- 
ported. In this and the following verses 
he dliows that the same principle was 
ncognised and acted on under llie Jew- 
ish dispensation. He dees not mean te 
say, by tlus exassple of the ox treading 
out the com, that the law as given by 
Moses referred to the Christian minis- 
iiy ; but that the principle therer was 
settled that the labourer diould have a 
rapport, and that a suitable provision 
should not be witfalield even from an 
ox ; and if God so regarded the welfare 
of a brute when labouring, it waa. much 
more reasonable to suppose that he 
would require a suitable provision to 
be made for the mansters of religion. 

9. f'or it is written, Beut xxv. 4. 
5 In the Imv ofMaes^ See Note, Luke 
xxiv. 44. t 7%ou ahak not muzzk ike 
mouth, Ac. To muazle means» ^to 
bind the mouth ; to festen the mouth 
to prevent eating or biting." — Webster , 
This was dond' either by passing straps 
around the mouth, or by placing, as is 
now sometimes done, a small basket 
over the mouth, fastened by straps to 
the horns of the animal, so as to pravont 
its eating, but not to impede Hs, breath- 
ing freely. This was an instance of the 
humanity of the laws of Moses. The 
idea is, that the ox should not be pre- 
vented firom eating when it was in the 
midst of food ; and that as it laboured 
for its owner, it was entitled to sup- 
port; and thera was a propriety that it 
should be permitted to partake ef the 
grain which it was threshing. ^ That 
treadeth, &;c This was one of the 
common modes of threshing in the 
«urty M it is with us. See Note and 




treadeth out the com. Doth God. 
take care for oxen ? 

10 Or saith he U altogether 

illustration on Matt, iii 12. ^ The 
earn. The grain, of any kind ; wheat» 
rye, barley, dec. Maiaw» ta which we 
wpiphf ike word com, was then unknovm* 
See Note^ Matt xikl. %DothGodtoke 
care for oxen ? Doth God. take care 
for oxen oni.z I Or is not this rather 
a principlfi which shows God's care ' 
for a// that labour, and the humanity 
and equity of his laws? And. if he 
is so solicitous about the welfare of 
brutes as to frame an express law iq^ 
their behalf is it not to be presumed 
that the same principle of humanity 
and equity 'will n(n through all his 
dealings and requirements 1 The apos- 
tle does not mean to deny that God 
does take cafe for oxen, for the veiy 
law was proof that he did; but he 
means tcx aisk whether it is to be sup- 
posed that God would regard the com- 
fort of oxen and not of men also^ 
whether we are not to suppose that 
the same principle would apply also to 
those who labour in the sesvice of God 1 
He uses this passage, therefore, not as 
originally having loGemnce to men, or 
to ministers of the gospel, which cannot 
be; but as estaUishing a general j9rtnr 
dple in regard to the equity and hu- 
manity of the divine hkws ; and as thus ' 
showing that the spirit of the law of 
God vrould lead te the conclusion 
that Goi intended that the labourer 
everywhero .should have a competent 

10. Or saith he st akogether for omr 
sokes? The word'' altogether'' (roy'nwr) 
cannot mean that this was the sole and 
only design ai the law, to teach that 
ministers of the gospel were entitled to 
support; for, (1.) Thb d»> 
rectly contrary to the law itself, which 
had some direct and undoubted refer- 
«ice to oxen ; (2.) The scope of ths 
argnnient here does not require this 
interpreiation, since the whole object 
will be met by supposing that this set> 
tied a/r»ri«^ of hiunanity and equity 



[A* D. 59. 

feroursakesT For our sakes, 
no doubt, this is written: tkaf 
he * that ploweth should plow in 
hope; and that he that tluresheth 

in the divine law, accordmg to which 
it was proper that miniaten thduid 
bate a suppcnrt; and, (3.) The word 
o altogether" (travruf) doee notof ne- 
eeirity tequire this mteipietatioii. It 
may be rendered ekUJly, nudnfyf prwr 
eipalfytordoubtlest. Lake tv. 83, « Ye 
will stnreiy (jramfc, certainly, sarely, 
doubtless) say unto me this proveib," 
0ce, Acts xviii. 21, **I must by all 
means (trdtfrm, certainly, surely) keep 
this feast" Acts zxi. 22, <«Tfae mul- 
titude miut needs (irdmf, will certain- 
hr, surely, inevitably) come together," 
ice, Acbi xx\m»^f" No doubt (iTiirrm) 
fbsB man is a murderer," &c The 
word here, therefore, means that the 
principle stated in the law about the 
oxen was so broad and humane, that it 
night certainly, surely, particularly be 
ngarded as apf^icable to the case under 
conedderation. An important and ma- 
terial argument might be drawn from 
it; an argument from the less to the 
greater. The precept einoined justice, 
equity, humanity ; and that -was more 
applicable to the case of the ministen 
of the gospel than to the case of oxen. 

I For our aakesy dec To diow that 
e laws and requirements of God are 
bumane, kind, and equitable : net that 
Hoses had Paul or any ndier minister 
in his eye, but the prmeipk was one 
that applied particularly to this caaew 
t That he thai ploweth, Ac The 
Oreek in this place would be more 
fiterally and more properly rendered, 
'For (vn) he that ploweth oitsht 
(•puKu) to plow in hope;' c.e. in hope 
of reaping a harvest, or ci obtaipiBg 
iaccess in his labours: and the sense 
U, ' The man who cultivates the earth, 
in order that he may be excited to in- 
dustry and diligence, ought to have a 
nasonable prospect that he shall him- 
■elf be permitted to enjoy the fruit of 
his kboura. Th» is t^ csm with 

in hope should he partaker of his 

11 If * we hare sown unto, 
you spiritual things, is it a great 

—*■'«■»—'—«" ■ ' II I I 111 II 1 t m 

those who do plow : and if this shoujkji 
be the case with those who cidtivato 
the earth, it is as certainly, reasonable 
that tiboae who labour in God's hus- 
bandry, and who devote their strength 
to his service, should be encouraged 
with a reasonable prospect of suooesa 
and support* t -^^^ that he that 
threshtth, dec* This sentence, inrtho 
Grieek, is very elliptical and obscure | 
but the sense is» evidently, 'He that 
thresheth ought to partake of his hope i 
i, e, of the fruits of his hope, or of the 
result of his labour. It is fiur and right 
that he dioiild enjoy the frtdts of hit 
toil. So in GUmI's husbandry ; it is right 
and proper that they. who toil for the 
advancement of his cause should bo 
supported and rewarded;' The saiae 
sentiment is expressed in 2 Tim. iU 6, 
** The husbandman that laboureth mofll 
be first partaker of the .fruits." 

lU If toe hone sown unto you ^pfF 
ritual things. If we have bein the 
means of imparting to you the ^gospel, 
and bestowing upon you its high hopes 
and privileges. J9ee Note, Bcm. xv. 27, 
The figure of sowing, to denote the 
preaching of the go^el, is not unfro» 
quently employed in the Scriptiiree; 
See ^obm W. 37, and the parable of the 
sower, MatLxiii. 3, dec 1 Is it a great 
thing, Sui, Note, Rom. xv. 27. la it 
to ba regarded as unequal, unjust, or 
burdensome 1 Is it to be supposed that 
we are receiving that for which vw hlive 
not rendered a valuable eonsideration 1 
The sensois, < We impart blessings of 
more value than we receive. We r«- 
oeive a supf^y of our temporal waiit& 
We impart to you, under the divine 
blessmg, the goi^ with all ita hopes 
and consohtions. We make 51^ «»- 
quainted with God; with &e plan oi 
salvation; with the hope of hea-ven. 
We instruct your ohildrea; we soide 
you iii the path of oomfoit and peao»{ 




thing if we shall reap your ear- 
nal Slings? 

we rsiie yon from the ddgradatkms of 
idolatiy and of am; and we open before 
joa the hope of the resuireetion of the 
jwA, and of all the biiaa of heaven: 
and to do this, we ^ye ourseivea to 
toil and peril by land and by lea. And 
can it be made a matter of question 
Hhether all these high and exalted 
hopes are of as much value to dying 
man as the small amount which shall 
be needful to minister to the wants of 
those who are the means of imparting 
Ihese Messingsl' Paul says this, there- 
fore, finom the reasonabieaess of the case. 
The proinriety of support might be fiir- 
Aer urged, (I.) Because without it the 
ministry would be comparatively useless. 
Ministers, like physicians, lawyer^, and 
fiirmers, should be allowed to attend 
mainly to the great business of their 
lives, and to their appropriate work. 
No physician, no farmer, no mechanic, 
eonld accomplish much, if his attention 
was constantly turned off from bis ap- 
propriate business to engage in some- 
thing else. And how can the minister 
of the gospel, if his time is nearly all 
taken upan labouring to provide for the 
wants of his family 1 (2.) The great 
mass of mimsters spend thor early days, 
and many of them all their property, &k 
preparing to preach the gospel to others. 
And as the mechanic who has spent 
his eariy years in learning a tmde^ and 
the physician and lawyer in preparing 
for their profession, receive support in 
that calling, why should not the minis- 
ter of the gospel ? (3.) Men, in other 
things, cheerfully pat/ those who labour 
for them. They compensate the school* 
master, the physician, the lawyer, the 
merchant, the mechanic ; and tiiey do 
it cfaeeiliilly, because they suppose they 
nceive a vsJuable consideration for their 
money. But is it jiot so with regard to 
ministers of the gospell Is not a man's 
fiunily as eortcanly benefited by the 
laboun of a fiuthfitl clergjrman and pee* 
lor, as by the siull of a physunan or a 
iMijer, or by the service of the adiool- 

12 If others he partaken o^ 
this power over you« are not we 

■■ ■■ Ill I f .ii.—i ■ » 

masterl Are not the afiaineftfaa seal 
and of eternity as important to a man's 
fiunily as those of time and the wel&m 
of the body T So the mnsic-mester jmi 
the dancing-master are paid, aod,.jpeid 
cheerfully, and liberally; and yet can 
there be any comparison between, the 
value of their services and those of 
the minister of the gospell (4.) ,U 
might be added, that society is benefit* 
ed in a pecuniart/ way by the service 
of a fiadthful minuter to a fieur greater 
extent than the amount of compensi^ 
tion which he receives. One drunkard, 
reformed under his labours, may earn 
and save to his fiimily and to society 
ais much as the whole salary of the 
pastor. The promotion of order, peace^ 
sobriety, industiy, education, and rcigu- 
larity in business, and honesty in con* 
tracting and ui paying debts, saves 
much more to the community at large 
than the cost of the support of the gos- 
pel. In regard to this, any man nug^ 
make the comparison at his leisure, be> 
tween those places where the ministij 
is established, and where temperancei 
industry, and sober habits prevail, and 
those places where there is na ministryy 
and where gambling, idleness and die- 
sipation abound. It is always a matter 
of economy to a people, in the end, to 
support schoolmastera and ministers as 
they ought to be supported. \ Ruip 
your ccarntU things. Partake of those 
things which relate to the present lifii ; 
the support of the body> ue. food and 

12. If others. Other teachers liv* 
ing with you. There can be no doubt 
that the teachers in Corinth urged this 
right, and^received a support t Be 
partakers of this power. Of this 
right to a support and maintenanceb 
^ Axe not we rather. We the apostles ; 
we who have laboured for your convei> 
sion; vidio have founded your church; 
who have been the first, and the mml 
laborious in instructing yoOfaod i«gh 
parting to yon spicitnal bkwiiiiics? 




rather ? Nevertheless * we have 
not used this power ; but suffer 
all things, le»t we should hinder 
the gospel of •Christ. 

a 9Gor4l.7— 9213.14 

Httve not we a better claim than tibey ? 
Y Neveriheksa we have not used this 
power. We have not urged this 
claim ; we haVe chosen to forego thb 
right, and to kbour forour own support 
The reason why tiiey had done this, 
he states in the subsequent part of the 
diapter. See 2 Cor. xi. 7*^9 ; xiL 14. 
Comp. Acts xviii. 3 ; xx. 34, 35. t But 
tuffer all things. Endure all privations 
and hardships ; we subject ourselves to 
poverty, want, hunger, thirst, naked- 
ness, rather than urge a cUmn on you, 
and thus leave the susj^cion fiiatwe 
are actuated by mercenary motives. 
The word used here (jpr^/xw, suffer) 
means properly to cover, to keep off, as 
lain, &c., and then to eontain, to sus- 
tain, tolerate, endure. Here it means 
to bear, or endure all hardidiips. Comp. 
Notes ch. iv. 11 — 13. T L^t we 
should hinder the gospel of Christ* 
Paul here states the reason why he 
had not urged a claim to support in 
preaching the gospel. It was not be- 
cause he was not entitled to a full sup- 
port, but it was that by denying himself 
of this right he could do good, and 
avoid some evil consequences . which 
would have resulted if he had strenu- 
gusly urged it. His conduct therefore 
in this'was just one illustration of the 
principle on which he said (di. viiL 13) 
he would always act ; a readiness to 
deny himself of things lawful, if by that 
he could promote the wel&re of others. 
The reasons why his urging this claim 
ought have hindered the gospel may 
have been many. (1.) It might have 
exposed him and the ministry generally 
to the charge of being mercenary. (2.) 
It would have prevented his presenting 
in bold relief the fact that he was 
bound to preach the gospel at all 
events, and that he was actuated in it 
iiy a siiidple conviction of its truth. (3.) 
It might have alienated many mhidA 


13 Do ye not know, that 
they which minister about holy 
things ^ liye of the things of the 
temple ? and they ' which wait 

« or,/«ed. b Niim.18.8^. Deutiai. - 

who might oflieTwise have been led to 
embrace it (4.) R would have pre- 
vented the exercise of self-denial in 
him, and the benefits which resulted 
firom that self-denial, dec. ver. 17, 18. 

13. Do ye not knouf^ dec la this 
verse Paul illustrates the doctrine that 
the mlniBters of religion were entitted 
to a- support from the fact that those 
who were appointed to o£fer sacrifioe 
received a maintenance in their work. 
1 7%^ which minister about hoh 
things. Probably the Letdtes. Their 
office waa to render assbtance to the 
priests, to keep guard around the taber- 
nacle, and subsequently around Uie 
temple. It was alse their duty to see 
that the temple was kept clean, and to 
prepare supplies for the sanctuary, such 
88 oilv wine, incense, &c. They had 
the care of the revenues, and after the 
time of David were required to sing in 
the temple, and to play upon instru- 
ments. Num. iii. 1 — 36 ; iv. 1. 30. 35. 
42 ; viii. 6—22. 1 Chron. xxiii. 3—5. 
24. 27 ; xxiv. 20 — 31. ^ Live of the 
atungsofthe temple, Marg., Peed^ i. e» 
are soppotted in their work by the of- 
ferings of the people, and by the pro- 
vinons which were made for the temple 
service. See Num. xviii. 24 — 32. 
^ And they which wait at the altar* 
Probably die priests who were em- 
ployed in offering sacrifice. t -^re 
partakers with the altar. That is, • 
part of the animal ofiered in sacrifice 
is burned as an (Bering to God, and a 
part becomes the property of the priest 
for his support ; and thus the altar and 
the priest become joint participatora of 
the sacrifice. IW» these offerings 
the priests- derived their maintenaaoSb 
SeeNum. xviii. 8--19. Deut xviiL !» 
dec The argument of the apostle 
here is this : < As the ministen of reli- 
gion under the Jewish dispensation were 




at the altar are part^efs with 
^ the altar ? 

14 Even so hath the Lord* 

a Luke 107. 

entitled to support by the authority and 
the law of God, Uiat fiifet settles a 
general principle which is applicable 
also to ^ gospel, that he intends that 
the ministers of religion should deriye 
their support in their work. H it was 
~ reasonable then, it is reasonable now. 
If Grod commanded it then, it is to be 
presumed that he intends to require it 

14. Even so* In the same manner, 
and for the same reasons. ^ JH[ath the 
Lord ordained. Hath the Lord ap- 
^pointed, commanded, arranged that it 
should be so (iiha^t). The word here 
means that he has made this a law, or 
has required it The word " Lord** here 
doubtless refers to the Lord Jesus, who 
has sent forth his ministers to labour in 
the great harvest of the world. ^ TTiat 
they which preach, the gospel. Th&y 
who are sent forth by him ; who devote 
their lives to this work ; who are called 
and employed by him in this service. 
This refers, therefore, not only to the 
apostles, but to all who are duly called 
to this work, and who are his ambas- 
sadors. Y Should live of the sospeK 
Should be supported and maintamed in 
this work. Paul here probably refers 
to the appointment of &e Lord Jesus, 
when he sent forth his disciples to 
preach. Matt x. 10. Luke x. 8. Comp. 
Gal. vL 6. The man may be said to 
' live in the gospel' who. is supported 
while he preaches it, or who derives his 
maintenance in that work. Here we 
may observe, (1.) That the command 
is that they shall Uve {^fjA of the gospel. 
It is not that they should grow rich, or 
lay up treasures, or speculate in i1^ or 
become merchants, farmers, teachers, or 
book-makers for a living; but it is that 
they should have such a maintenance 
as to constitute a livelihood. They 
should be made c<mifortabIe ; not rich. 
They should receive so much as to 
keep their minds from being haransed 

ordainedy that they* whieh proach 
the gospel should live of the gos* 

with cares, and their nimlies troni 
want ; not so mnch as to lead them to 
forget their dependence on €k>dy or OA 
the people. Probably the tine rule is, 
that they should be abb to live as th0 
mate of the people among whom th^ 
labour lire ; that they should be able to 
receive and entertain the poor, and be 
willing to do it; and so that the riok 
also may not deapae them, or turn 
away firom their dwelling. (2.) 'Hua 
is a command of the Lord Jesus ; and 
if it is a command, it diould be obeyed 
as much as any other law of the Re- 
deemer. And if this is a eommandt 
then the minister is ertHtkd to a sttp' 
port ; and then also a people are not at 
liber^ to withhold it Further, then 
are 98 strong reasons why they should 
support him,, as there are why they 
should pay a schoolmaster, a lawyer, a 
physician, or a day-labourer. The mi- 
nister usually toils as hard as others; 
expends as mmsti in preparing for hk 
work ; and does aa 9Mieh good. And 
there is even a higher daisn in tfaii 
case. God has given an expreet com* 
mand iii this case; he has not in"* the 
others. (3.) The sakiy of a nmustef 
should not be vegatrded as a gift merely^ 
any more than ikke pay of a eong ress* 
man, a phytddan, or a iawytfir. He has 
a cledm to it ; and Qod has commanded 
that it fthould be paid. It is, monover, 
a matter of stipohition and of compoot^ 
by which a people agree to compenaatQ 
him for his services. And yet, is theani 
any thing in the shape of debt-'viikm 
there is so much looseness as in regaid 
to this subject ? Are tnen usually ai 
conscientious in <his as they are in 
paying a physician or a merchant 9 
A-re not ministers often in distress for 
that which has been promised tbsm^ 
and which they have a right to expeett 
And is not their usefulness, aiid te 
happiness of the people, and the himo«# 
of rdHgion intimately cbnneciked uMi 


I. CORBil'raiANS. 

[AvP. 99.. 

16 But I * have used none of 
these things : neither have I 
written these things, that it 
should be so done unto me : for 

a Acts 90.83. 2TheaB.3.8L 

obeying the rule of the Lord Jasub in 
this respecti 

16. But I have used noneof these 
ikmgs, I have not- urged and enforced 
this right I have chosen to support 
myself by the labour of my own hands. 
This had been objected to him as a rea- 
son why he could not be an. apostle. 
He heare shows that that was not the 
reason why he had not urged this claim ; 
but that it was because in this way he 
eould do most to honour the gospel and 
saTo the souls of men. Comp. Acts 
zx. 83. 2 Thess. iiL 8. The sense is, 
* Though my right to a support is esta- 
Uished, in common with othens, both 
bj reason, the nature of the ease, the 
examples in the law, and the command 
of the Lord Jeaus^ yet there are reasons 
why I have not chosen to avail myself 
<tf this right, and why I have not urged 
these claims.' ^ Neitker have I written 
these thingSf Ac * I have not presented 
this argument now in order to induce 
you to pFovide for me.- I do not intend 
now to ask or receive a^ support from 
you. I urge it to show that I feel that 
I have a right to it ; that my conduct 
is not an argument that I am conscious 
I am not an apostle ; and that I might 
uge it were there not strong reasons 
trhich determine me not to do it» I 
neither ask you to^sead^ me now a sup- 
port, nor, if I visit you again, do I ex- 
pect you will oontr&ute to my munte- 
nance.' If For it were better for me to 
die, &c. There are advantages growkig 
out of my not urging this claim which 
are of more importance to me than life. 
Bather than forego these advantages, it 
would be better for me— it would be a 
tiling which I would prefer-^-topine in 
poverty and want.; to be exposed to 
peril, and cold, jjod storms, until life 
diould close. I esteem 'my " gloiying,*' 
ih» advantages of my course, to be of 
won vakio than, life itself.. \ Than 

^it were better for me to die 
than that any man should make 
my glorying void. 

16 For though I preach the 


that any^man should make my > glory' 
ing void. His glorying, or boasting, 
^^ joying* as it may be moie properly 
rendered (to ¥Av^i»(Ad fAW ; coxnp. PhiL 
i. 26. Heb. iii. 6), was, (1.) That he 
had preached the gospel without expense 
to anybody, and had thus prevented the 
charge of avarice (ver. 18) ; and (2.)- 
That he had been able to keep hisbodj 
under, and pursue a course of self-denial 
Chat would result in his happiness and 
gloiy in heav^i. ver. 23^ — 27. ** Any 
man" would have made that "void," 
if he had supported Paul; had pre- 
vented the necessity of his labour, and 
had thus exposed him to the charge of 
having preached the gospel for the sake 
of gain. , 

19. For though Ipreaoh the g9spel, 
&c.* This, with the two following verses, 
is a very difficult passage, and has been 
very variously understood by interpret- 
ers. The general scope and purpose of 
the passage is to show what was the 
ground of his "glorying/' or of hia 
hope of " reward*' in preaching the gos- 
pel. In ver. 15 he had intimated that 
he had cause of ** glorying,*' and that 
that cause was one which he was de- 
termined no one should take away. In 
this^ passage (ver. 16 — 18) he states 
what that was. He says^ it was nol 
simply that he preached ; for there was 
a neceslity laid on him, and he could 
not help it : his eall was such, the com- 
mand was such, that his life would be 
miserable if he did not do it But sdl 
idea of "glorying," or of "reward," 
must be connected with some volurt' 
tary service — s<miething which would 
show the inclination, disposition, desire 
of the soul. And as that in his case 
could not be well shown where a " ne- 
cessity" was laid on him, it could be 
shown only in his submitting voluntch 
rily to trials ; in denying himself; in 
bemg. vrilling to forejg^ comforts which 


A.U 59.1 



gospel, I have nothing to glory 
of : for " necessity is laid upon 


he might lawfully enjoy ; and in thus 
• furnishing a ftill and complete test of 
his readiness to do any thing to promote 
tbe gospel. The essential idea here is, 
ther^re; that there was such a rueeg- 
tUy laid on hun in his call to preach the 
gospel, that his compliance with that call 
«ould not be regarded as appropriately 
eonnected with reward ; and that in his 
€ase Uie circumstance which showed 
diat reward would be proper, was, his 
denying himself, and making the gospel 
without charge. This would show that 
kis heart Vjos in the thing ; that he 
was not urged on by necessity; that 
he loTed the work ; and that it would 
be consistent for the Lord to reward 
him for his self-denials and •toils in his 
service. ^ I katte fwthing to glory of. 
The force of -this would be better seen 
by a more literal translation. < It is not 
to me glorying;' t.e. this is not the 
cause of my glorying, or rejoicing (otw 
Irri fji9t K^d^n/xeJ), In 'ver. 15 he had 
said that he had a cause of glorying, or 
of joy (xAvx^fid^. He here says that 
that joy or glorying did not consist in 
the -simple fact that he preached the 
gospel ; for necessity was laid on him : 
there was some other cause and source 
of his joy or glorying than that simple 
fact ver. 18. Others preached the 
gospel also : in common with them, it 
might be a source of joy to him that 
he preached the gospel ; but it was not 
&e source of his peculiar joy, for he 
had been called into the apostleriiip in 
auch a manner as to render it inevitable 
diot he should preach the gospel. Hia 
glorying was of another kind. ^ For 
necesdty is laid upon me. My preach- 
ing i» in a manner inevitable, and can- 
not therefore be regarded as that in 
which I peculiarly glory, i was call- 
ed into the ministry in a miraculous 
manner ; I was addressed personally by 
the Lord Jesus ; I was arrested when I 
was a persecutor; I was commanded to 
go and preach ; I had a direct oommis* 
mon from heaven. There was oe room 

me ; yea, woe is unto me if I 
preach not the gospel. 

for hesitancy or debate on the subject 
(Gal. L 16\ and I gave myself at onoe 
and entire^ to the work. Acte ix. 6. 
I have been urged to this by a direet 
callfrcMn heaven; and to yield obedi* 
ence to this call cannot be regarded aa 
evincing sueU an inclination to give 
myself to this work as if the call had 
been in the usual mode, and with leas 
decided manifestations. We are not to 
suppose- Uiat Paul vras compelled to 
preach, or that he was not voluntary in 
his work, or that he did not prefer it to 
any other employment : but he speaka 
in a popular sense, as saying that he 
* could not help it ;' or that the evidenoa 
of his call was imsistible, and left no 
room for hesitBtjon. He was free; bnl 
there was iu>t the slightest room for 
debate on the subject The evidence 
of his call was so strong that he could 
not but yield. Probably none now have 
evidences of their call to the ministry'' 
as strong as this. But there are many, 
very many, who feel that a kind of fie^ 
cessit^ is laid on them to preach. Their 
consciences urge them to it They 
would be miserable in any other em* 
plojrment The course of Providence has 
shot them np to it Like Saul of Tar- 
sus, they may have been persecutors, or 
reviiers, or ** injurious," or biasphemen 
(iTim. i. 13); or they may, lik^him, 
have commenced a career of ambition ; 
or they may have been engaged in some 
scheme of money-making or of plei^ 
sure ; and in an hour when they little 
expected it, they have been arrested by 
the truth of God, imd their attention 
directed to the gospel ministry. Many 
a minister has, before entering the m^ 
nistry, formed many other purposes dT 
life; but the providence of God barred 
his way, hemmed in his goings, and 
constrained him to become an ambfssa* 
dor of the cross. ^ YeOf %ooe is unto me, 
Sec* I should be miserable and wretehed 
if I did not preach. My preaching, 
therefore, in itself considered, cannot 
be a subject of glorying. I wn «hut up 



[A. D. 59. 

17 For if I do thi« thing wiU- 
mgly, I hare & reward: but if 

to it I am urged to it in every way. 
I should be wretehed were I not to do 
it, and were I to eeek any other calliQf . 
My oonfiM^ence would reproach me. My 
judgment would pondemn me. My 
heait would pain me. I should have 
BO comfort in any other calling; and 
God would^ frown upon me. Learn 
hence, (1.) That Paul had been con- 
▼erted. Once he had no love for the 
minietry, but persecuted the Saviour. 
With die feelings which he then had, 
he would have been wretched in the 
ministry; with those which he now 
had, he would have been wretched out 
of it. His heart, therefore, had been 
wholly changed. (S«) All ministers 
who are duly called to the work can 
say the same thing. Th^ would be 
wretched in any o9ier calling. Their 
conscience would reproach them. They 
would have no interest in the plans of 
^the wcffld ; in the schraaes of wealth, 
and pleasure, and fame. Their heart 
is in thi8 work, and in this alone. In 
this, though amidst circumstances of 
poverty, persecution, ' nakedness, cold, 
peril, sickness, they have comfort In 
any other calling, though surrounded 
by affluence, friends, wealth, honours, 
pleasures, gayety, fashion, they would 
be miserable. (3.) A man whose heart 
is not in the ministry, and who would 
be aa happy in any other calling, is not 
fit to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ 
Unless his A«ar^ is there, and he j9re/er« 
^at to any other calling, he should never 
^ink of preaching the gospel. (4.) Men 
who leave the ministry, and voiuhtarily 
devote themselves to some other calling 
when they might preach, never had the 
proper spirit of an ambassador of Jesus, 
if for the sake <^ ease or gain; if to 
avoid the cares and anxieties of the life 
of a pastor ; if to msike money,^or secure 
money when made; if to cultivate a 
ftirm, to teach a schot^, to write a book, 
to live upon an estate, or to enjoy Ufey 
diey lay aside the ministiy, it is proof 
that they never had a call to the work. ( 

apinst my will, a dispensation'(/ 
the g09pd is committed unto me. 

a Col.1.25. 

So did not Paul ; and so did not Paul's 
Master and ours. They loved the worjk^ 
and they left it not tiU death. Neither 
for ease, honour, nor wealth ; neither to 
avoid care, toil, pain, or poverty, did 
they cease in tbeir work, until tl)e one 
could say, ^ I have fought a good fight, 
/ hixoe finished m,y eourse, I have kept 
the fiiith*' (2 Tim. iv. 7) ; and the other, 
'< I have finished the work which thou 
gavest me to do.'* John xviL 4. (5.) 
We see the reason why men are some- 
times miserable in other callings. They 
should have entered the ministry. God 
caHed ihem to it; and they, became 
hopefully pious. But they chose the 
law, or the practice of medicine, 6t 
chose to be farmers, merchants, teach<^ 
ers, professors, or statesmen. And God 
withers their piety, blights their happn 
ness, follows them with the reproaches 
of conscience, makes them sad, melan* 
eholy, wretched. They do no good; 
and they have no comfort in life. 
Every man should do the will of 
Grod, and then every man would-be 

17. For if I do this thing wilUngfy, 
If I preach so as to show that my 
heart is in it ; that I am not compelled. 
If I pursue such a course as to show 
that I prefer it to all other employ* 
ments. If Paul took a compensation 
for his services, he could not well do 
this ; if he did not, he showed that his 
heart was in it, and that he preferred the 
work to all others. Even though he had 
been in a manner compelled to engage 
in that work, yet he so acted' in the 
work as to ^ow that it had his hearty 
preference. This was done by hu 
submitting to voluntary self-denials 
and sacrifices in order to spread the 
Saviour's name. ^ / have a reward, 
I shall meet with the approbation of 
my Lord, and shall obt^n the reward 
in the world to come, which is promised 
to those who engage heartily, 'and 
laboriously, and successfully in turning 
sinners to God. Prov^jLi. 30. Ban. 

- I" -^-r— 

A. D. 5».] 



18 What 10 my reward then ? 
Verily that, when I preach, the 
gospeU I may make the gospel 

^W— ^»— ^W— — »>-^— » ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ I 

xiL 8. Matt. xiiL43; xxr. 21—23. 
Jmbm %, 20. \ But if against my 
uriB (&«r). If under a tiecesaity (ver. 
16) ; ^ by the command of another 
{Grotitui) ; if I do it by the fear of 
puoiidiment, or by any strong necessity 
which IB laid on me. ^ A dispensa- 
Hon of the goepel is committed unto 
me. I am intrusted with {^rvriTrwutxt) 
this dispensation, office, economy (oixoro- 
jf^Uu) of the gospel. It has been laid 
upon me; I have been caUed to it; I 
muat engage in this work ; and if I do 
it from mere compulsion, or in such a 
way that my will shall not acquiesce 
in it, and concur with it, I shall have 
no disdnguiEAied reward. The work 
must be done; I must preach the 
gospel ; and it becomes me so to do it 
as to show that my heart and will 
entirely concur ; that it is noi a matter 
of compuinon, but of choice. This 
he proposed to do by so denying him- 
ad^ and so foregoing comforts wMch he 
might lawfully enjoy, and so subjecting 
himself to perils and toils in preaching 
ihe gospel, as to show that his heart 
was in the work, and that he truly 
gloved it 

18. What is my reward then? 
What is the source of my reward 1 
or what is there in my conduct that 
will show that Tarn entitled to reward 1 
What is there that will demonstrate 
that my heart is in the work of the 
ministry ; that I am firee and voluntary, 
and thai I am not urged by mere neces- 
sity 1 Though I have been' called by 
mhacle, and though necessity is laid 
upon me, so that I cannot but preach 
the gospel, yet how s^i I so do it as 
Id make it proper for God to reward 
me as a voluntary agent 1 Paul im- 
mediately states the circumstance that 
showed that he was entitled to the 
reward, and that was, that he denied 
himself, and was wiOing to forego Ins 
bwful enjoyments, and even bis rights^ 
ttiat he nu£^t make the gospel without 


of Christ mtfiaut charge; that 
I abuse not my power m the 

charge. ^Imay make the gospel of 
Cknst without charge. Without ez« 
pense to those who hear it I will 
support myself by my own labour, and 
will tbus show that I am not urged to 
preaching by mere <* necessity ,'* but 
that I love it Observe here, (1.) That 
Paul did not give up a support because 
he was not entitled to it (2.) He 
does not say that it would be well or 
advisable for others to do it (3.) It if 
right and well for a man, if he cboose^ 
anid can do it, to make the gospel with- 
out charge, and to support himselC 
(4.) All tlut this case proves is, that 
it would be proper only where a t'ne* 
cessity" was laid on a man, as it was on 
Paul; when ha could not otlierwis« 
show that his heart was in the woik« 
and that he was voluntary and loved it 
(5.) This passage cannot be urged ly 
a people to prove that ministers ought 
not to haye a support Paul saya 
they have a right to it A man may 
forego a right if he pleases. He may 
choose not to urge it; but no one can 
demand of him that he should not 
urge it; much less have they a right 
to demand that he should give up hit 
rights. (6.) It is best in general that 
those who hear the gocq^l should con* 
tribute to its support it is not onlf 
equal and right, but it is best lor them* 
We generally set very little value on 
that which costs us nothing; and th» 
very way to make the gospel contempt- 
ible is, to have it preached by those who 
are supported by the state, or by their 
own labour in some other department \ 
or by men who neither by their talentSp 
their learning, nor their industry have 
any claim to a support All ministen 
are not like Paul They have neither 
been called as he was ; nor have they 
his talent his aeal, or his eloquence. 
Paul's example then should not be 
urged as an authority £)r a people to 
withhold from their pastor what is hk 
due ; nor^ because P^ul ekose to foiego 



[A. D. 59. 

'^ 19 For though I he free from 
all men, yet have I made myself 
servant * unto all, that I might 
gain the more. 

a Bofn.li4. Oal^ia 

■ ^ !■ I Ill 

his rights, flhouM people now demand 
that a minister should devote his time, 
and health, and life to their wel&re for 
nau^t t ITiat I abuse not my 
power in the goepel. Paal had a right 
to a support. This power he might 
tnrge. But to urge it in his circum- 
stances would be a hinderance of the 
gospel. And to do that would be to 
abuse his power, or to pervert it to 
purposes for which it was never de- 

19. For tUough I he free, I am a 
freeman. I am under obligation to 
none. I am not bound to give them 
my labours, and at the same time to 
toil for my own support I have 
daims like others, and could urge them ; 
and no man could demand that I 
ahould give myself to a life of servi- 
tude, and comply with their prejudices 
and wishes, as if I were a slaioe, in order 
to their oonvendon. Comp. ver. 1. Notes 
ch. vL 12. ^From all men (w jrarrm). 
This may cither refer to all peraone ot 
to all tfunffs. The word men is not 
in the origmaL The conncaion, how- 
ever, seems to fix the signification to 
perwms, < I am a freeman. And al- 
though I have conducted like a slave, 
yet it has been done voluntarily.' 
^ I have made myself the servant of 
alL Greek, 'I have enslaved myself 

Eijyuturof fl/ot/TUM-fli) unto all.' That is, 
1.) I labour for them, or in their ser- 
vice, and to promote their welfare. (2.) 
I do it, as the slave does, without re- 
ward or hire. I am not paid for it, but 
submit to the toil, and do it without 
receiving pay. (3.) Lik^ the slave 
who wishes to gratify hu master, or 
who is compelled from the necesaty of 
tile case, I conqply with the prejudices, 
habits, customs, and opinions of others 
as fitf as I can with a good conscience. 
The slave is subject to the master's 
wiiL That will must be otieyed. Thie 

20 And unto the Jews ^ I 
became as a Jew, that I might 
gain the Jews ; to them that are 
under the law, as under the law, 

6 Acts 16^ 21.33-26. 

whims, prejudices, caprices of the 
master must be submitted to, even if 
they are mere caprice, and wholly un* 
reasonable. So Paul says that he had 
voluntarily put himself into this condi- 
tion, a condition making it necessary 
for him to suit himself to the opinions, 
prejudices, caprices, and feelings of all 
men, so fisur as he could do it with a 
good conscience, in order that he might 
save them.' We are not to understand 
here that Paul embraced any opinions 
which were felse in order to do this, or 
that he submitted to any thing which 
is morally vvrong. But he complied 
with their customs, and habits, and 
feelings, as fer as it could lawfully be 
done. He did not needlessly oflend 
them, or run counter to their prejudices, 
t That I might gain the more: That 
I might gain more to Christ ; that I 
might be the means of saving more 
souls. What a noble instance of sel^ 
denial and true greatness is here ! How 
worthy of religion ! How elevated th6 
conduct ! How magnanimous, and how 
benevolent! No man would do this 
who had not a greatness of intellect 
that would rise above narrow preju- 
dices; and who had not a nobleness 
of heart that would seek at personal 
sacrifice the happiness of all men. 
It is said that not a few early Chris- 
tians, in illustration of this principle of 
conduct, actually sold themselves into 
slavery in order that they mig^t have 
access to and benefit slaves, an act to 
which noting would prompt a man 
but the religion of the cross. Comp, 
Note, Rom. i 14. 

* 20. And unto the Jews. In this 
verse, and the two following, Paul states 
more at length the conduct which he 
had exhibited, and to which he refers 
in ver. 19. He had shown this conduct 
to all classes of men. He had preached 
much to hia own countrymen, and had 

■■I«ll ■ 

A.D. 59.] 



that I might gaia them that are 
under the law ; 

evinced these pnndples there, i, I be- 
came as a Jew, I complied with their 
rites, cttstomsy prejudices, as far as I 
eould with a good conscience. I did 
not needlessly ofiSsnd them. I did nc^ 
attack and oppose their views, when 
th^re was no danger that my conduct 
flhoald be mistaken. For a full illus- 
tration of Paul's conduct in this respect, 
and the principles whidi ii^ueneed 
him, see Notes on Acts zvL 3 ; xviii. 
18 ; xxL 21^27 ; xxiii^ 1-^. If To 
those that are under the law* This I 
understand as another form of saying 
that he conformed to the rites, customs, 
and even prejudices <^ the Jews. , The 
phrase "under the law" means un- 
doubtedly the law of Moses ; and pro- 
bably he here refers particularly to those 
jews who lived in the land of Judea, 
ts being more immediate^ and en^ 
Urdy under the law of Moses, than 
those who lived- among the Gientiles. 
^ As under the Jaw. That is, I con- 
formed to their rites and customs as fax 
as I could do it. I did not violate them 
unnecessarily. I did not disregard them 
ibr the purpose of offending them ; nor 
refuse to observe them when it could 
be done with a good conscience. There 
can be no doubt that Paul, when he 
was in Judea, submitted himself to the 
laws, and lived in conformity with them. 
1 That I might gain.^ That I might 
obtain their conmlence and affection. 
That I might not outrage their feelings, 
excite their prejudices, and provoke 
them to anger ; and that I might thus 
have access to their minds, and be the 
m^ans of converting them to the Chris- 
tian faith. 

21. To them that are without law. 
To the Gentiles, who have not the law 
of Moses. See Note, Eom. ii. 12. 14, 
t As without law. Not practising the 
peculiar rites and ceremonies enjoined 
xn the law of Moses. Not insisting on 
them, or urging them; but shovnng 
that the ohUgation to those rites had 
been done away ; and that they were 
not bindings though when among the 

21 To them that are without 
law, as without law» (being not 

Jews I ^might still continue fo observe 
them. See Notes, Ads xv.; and the 
argument of Paul in Gal. ii. 1 1-— 18. 
I neglected the' ceremonial precepts of 
the Mosaic law, when I was with those 
who had not heai'd of the law of Moses, 
or those who did not observe them, be- 
cause I knew that the binding obligatioa 
of these ceremonial precepts had ceased. 
I did not, therefore, press them upon 
the Gentiles, nor did I superstitiously 
and publicly practise them. In all this, 
Paul has reference only to those things 
which he regarded as in themselvee 
indifferent, and not a matter of con* 
science ; and his purpose was not need- 
lessly to excite the prejudice or the op- 
position of the world. Nothing is ever 
gpiined by praooking opposition for the 
mere siUce of opposition. Nothing tendtf 
more to hinder the gospel than that* 
In all things of conseienee and truth a 
man should be firm, and should lose 
his life rather than abandon either ; in 
all things of indifference, of mere cus- 
tom, of prejudice, he should yield, and 
accommodate himself to the modes of 
thinking among men, and adapt him- 
self, to their views, feelings, and habits 
of life, that he may win them to Christ 
\ Being not without law to God. Not 
regarding myself as being absolutely 
vrithout law, or as being freed from 
obligation to obey God. E^ven in all 
this, \ endeavoured so to live as that it 
might be seen that I felt myself bound 
by law to God. I was not a despisor, 
and contemner, and neglecter of law as 
such, but only regarded myself as not 
bound by the peculiar ceremonial law 
of Moses. This is an instance of Paul's 
conscientiousness. He would not leave 
room to have it supposed for a moment 
that he disregarded all law. He was 
bound to Grod by law ; and in the con- 
duct to which he was referring he felt 
that he was obeying him. He was 
bound by higher law than those cere- 
monial observances which were now to 
be done away. This passage would 
destroy all the refuges of the Antino^ 



[A. D. 59. 

* without law to God, but under 
the law to Christ,) that I might 
gain them that are without law« 
2% To the weak * became I 

a cJTJSL b Bom.10.1. 2Cor.n.90. 

^^»— ^»^^^^— «^— ■■^^■^^-^— »»»» ■ ■■ < < ■ ■» ■■PI 

fiiians. Whatever ^Tileges the gospel 
Itss introdnoed, it has not set us free 
from the restraiiiits and olijigations of 
law. That is Unding stiU; and no 
Bian is at Ubeity to disregard the moial 
law of God. Christ came to magnify, 
strengthen, and to honour the law, not 
to destroy it ^ But under the law to 
Christ, Bound by the law enjoined 
by Christ ; under the law of affectionate 
gratitude and duty to him. I obeyed 
his commands; followed his instruc- 
tions; sought his honour; yielded to 
bis will. In this he would violate none 
df the rules of the moral law. And he 
here intimates, that his grand object 
was to yield obedience to the law of 
the Savioui^ and that this was Che go- 
Teming purpose of his life. And this 
would guide a man right. In doing 
tiiis, he would never violate any of the 
precepts of the moral law, for Christ 
obeyed them, and enjoined their obser- 
vance. He would never feel that he 
was without law to God, for Christ 
obeyed God, and enjoined it on all. 
He would never fed that religion came 
to set him free from law, or to author- 
ize licentiousness; for its grand pur- 
pose and aim is to make men holy, and 
to bind them everywhere to the obsec^ 
vance of the pure law of the Redeemer. 
22. To the weak. See Note, Rom. 
XV. 1. To those weak in faifli ; scru- 
pulous in regard to certain observances; 
whose consciences were tender and un- 
enlighten^l, and who would be ofilnd- 
ed even by things which might be in 
ibemselves lawful. He did not lacerate 
their feelings, and run counter to their 
preju$ces, for the mere sake of doing 
it t Became I as weak, I did not 
abode them. I complied with their 
customs. I conformed to tiiem in my 
dress, habits, manner of life, and even 
m the services of religion. I abstained 
from food which th^ deemed it their 

as weak, that I might ffs^n the 
weak ; P am made all Uiings to 
aQ men, that '^ 1 might by aU 
means save some. 

cclO^ dBom.11.14. 

duty to abstain from ; aind wboe, if I 
had paitak^i of it, I should have o^nd* 
edtiiem. Paul did not do this to gratify 
himself, or them, but to do them gootL 
And Paul's example should tea^ us 
not to make it the main business bf life 
to gratify ourselves: and it should 
teach us not to lacei:ate the feelings of 
others; not to excite their prejiuticea 
needlesdy ; not to ofiend them where it 
will do no good. Iftruth offends men, we 
cannot help it But in matters of ceremo* 
ny, and dre&s, and habits, and custom^ 
and forms, we should be willing to oon« 
form to them, as &r as can be done, and 
for the sole purpose of saving their souIsl 
Y I am made all things to all mem, I 
become all things ; that is, I accommo* 
date myself to them in all tilings^ so 
far as can be done with a good coo* 
sdenccr ^ That I might by all means 
(n-arroK), That I might use every 
possible endeavour that some at leai^ 
might be saved. It is implied here 
that the opposition to the gospel was 
everywhere great; that men were re- 
luctant to embrace it; that the great 
mass were going to ruin, and that Paul 
was willing to make the highest possi- 
ble exertions, to deny himself, and prac- 
tise every innocent art, that he mig^t 
save a few at least out of the innu* 
merable multitudes that were going to 
death and bell. It follows from this, 
(1.) That men are in danger of ruin. 
(2.) We should make an effort to save 
men. We should deny ourselves, and 
give ourselves to toil and privation, 
that we may save some at least from 
rain. (3.) The doctrine of universal 
salvation is not true. If it were, what 
Qse or propriety would there have be^ 
in these efforts of Paul ? X£ all were 
to be saved, why should he deny hioi^ 
self, and labour, and toil, to sava 
** SOME V* Why should a man make 
a constant effi>rt to save a few at least p 




v 23 And this I do for the 
gospel's sake, that I might be 
partaker thereof with you. 
24 Know ye not that they 

if he well knew that all were to be 
Mved 1 Assuredly Paul did not know 
or. believe that all men would be saved; 
but if the doctrine is true, he would 
have been quite aa likely to have known 
It as its modem advocates and defenders. 

28. For the goapefM sake. That it 
Viay be advancw, and may be success- 
i$L 5 JTuU I might be partaker there^ 
cfwith you. You hope to be saved. 
¥eu regard youraelves as Christians; 
4aid I wish to give evidence also that / 
wn a Chiistianf and that I shall be ad- 
Hkitted to heaven to partake of the hap- 
piness of the redeemed. This he did, 
by so denying himself as to give evi- 
dence that he was truly actuated by 
Christian principles. 

24. Know ye not, &c In the rfr- 
mainder of this chapter, Paul illustrates 
the general sentiment on which he 
had been dwelling — the duty of prao- 
tising self-denial for the salvation of 
others — by a reference to the well 
known games which were celebrated 
near Corinth. Throughout the chap- 
ter, his object had been to show that 
in declining to receive a support for 
preaching, he had done it, not because 
ne was conscious that he had no claim 
to it^but because by doing it he could 
better advance the salvation of men, 
the furtherance of the gospel, and in 
his peculiar case (ver. 16, 17] could 
obtain better evidence, and furnish to 
others better evidence that he was actu- 
ated by a sincere-desire to honour God 
in the gospel. He had denied himself 
He had voluntarily submitted to great 
privations. He had had a great object 
in view in doing it And he now says, 
that in the well known athletic games 
at Corinth, the same thing was done 
by the racera (ver. 24), and by torei- 
Uert, or boxers, ver. 25. If they had 
done it, for objects so comparatively 
unimportant as the attainment of an 
iortJi^ gariand, assuredly it was proper 


which run in a race ran all, but 
one receiveth a prize ? So run, 
"-that ye may obtain. 

a; 8.14. lTim.6.12. 2T1in.2.6. 

for him to do it to obtain a crown which 
should never &de away. This is one 
of the most beautiful, appropriate, vigo- 
rous, and bold illustrations that can 
anywhere be found ^ and is a striking 
instance of the force with which the 
most vigorous and self-denying efforts 
of Christians can be vindicated, and 
can be urged by a reference to the con- 
duct of men in the affairs of this life. 
By the phrase <* know ye not,'' Paul 
intimates that those games to which he 
alludes were well known to them, and 
that they must be &ijiiliar with their 
design, and with the manner in which 
2hey were conducted. The games to 
which the apostle alludes were cele- 
brated with extraordinary pomp and 
splendour, every fourth year, on the 
isthmus which joined the Peloponnesus 
to the main land, and on a part of 
which the city of Corinth stood. There 
were in Greece four species of games, — 
the Pythian, or Delphic; the Isthmi- 
an, or Corinthian; the Nemean, and 
the Olympic On these occasions per- 
sons were assembled from all pa^ of 
Greece, and the time during which 
they continued was devoted to extra- 
ordinary festivity and amusement The' 
Isthmian or CorintMan games were 
celebrated in the narrow part of the 
Isthmus of Corinth, to the north of the 
dty, and were doubtless the' games to 
which the apostle more particularly 
alluded, though the games in each of 
th^pbboes were substantially <^ the 
same nature, and the sdBae illustra- 
tion would in the main apply to aU. 
The Nemean games were celebrated 
at Nemseaf a town of Argolis, and were 
instituted by the Argives in honour of. 
Archemorus, who died by the bite of a 
serpent, but were renewcMl by Hercules. 
They consisted of horse and f<iot races,* 
of boxing, leaping, running, dee. The 
conqueror was at first rewarded with^' tf 
crown of ofive, afterwards of graen 




patsl^. They were celebrated every 
tbiid, or, according to others, every fifth 
year. The Pythian games were cele- 
brated every loui years at Delphi, in 
Phods, at the foot of mount Parnassus, 
where was the seat of the celebrated 
Pelphic oracle. These games were of 
the same character substantially as those 
celebrated in other places, and attracted 
persons not only from other parts of 
Greece, but from distant ^ countries. 
See Travels of Anacharsis, toI. iL pp. 
375 — 418. The Olympic games were 
celebrated in Olympia, a town of Elis, 
on the southern bank of the Alphias 
river, on the western part of the Pelo- 
ponnesus. They were on many accounts 
the most celebrated of any in Greece. 
They were said to have been instituted 
by Hercules, who planted a grove called 
AMs, which he dedicated to Jupiter. 
They- were attended not only from all 
parts of Greece, bat from the most dis- 
tant countries. These were celebrated 
every fourth year ; and hence, in Gre- 
cian chronology, a period of four years 
was called an Olympiad. See Ana- 
charsis, vol. iii. 434, seq. It thus hap- 
pened that in one or more of these 
places there were games celebrated 
every year, to which no small part of 
the inhabitants of Greece were attracted. 
Though the apostle probably had par^ 
timkar reference to the latkmian ^ames 
celebrated in the vicinily of Corinth, 
yet his illustration is applicable to them 
all; for in all the exercises were nearly 
the same. They consisted chiefly in 
leaping, running, throwing the -discus 
or quoit, boxing, wrestling, and were 
axpressedin the following line :— 

'AX^df 'niuntdnft iificwt dunrrmt rSXiiv, 

haping, rtmnin^, throwing the qtwit, 
imiing, toresthng. Connected with 
ihese were also, sometimes, other exer- 
cises, as races of chariots, horses, &x. 
The apoetle refers to but two of these 
exercises in his illustration, t '^y 
which TttfL This was one of the 
^Bciiwl exercises at the games. 
Fleetness or swiftness, was regarded as 
tt extraordinary virtue; and great 
f'W were taken in order to exdk in 

[A. D: 69. 

this. Indeed* they regarded it so 
highly that those who prepare4 them? 
selves for it thought it wbrth while to 
use means to bum their spleen, because 
it was believed to be a hinderance to 
them, and to retard them in the race. 
Rob. Cal*. Homer tells us that swiftneav 
was one of the most excellent endow- 
ments with which a man can be blessed. 

'' No greater honour e'er baa been attained. 
Than what strong han^s or nimble iest 
have gained." 

One reason why this was deemed so 
valuable an attidnment amc^g 1km 
Greeks, was, that it fitted men eflifl* 
nently for war as it was then condud)ed. 
It enabled^them to make a sudden aii4 
unexpected onset, or a rapid retreait 
Hence the character which Homer 
constantly gives of Achilles is, that h« 
was swift of foot And thus Davi^ 
in his poetical lamentations over Sani 
and Jonathan, takes special notice of 
this qualification ^of theirs, as fitting 
them for war. 

" They were swifter than eagles, 
Stronger than lions.'* 2Saiu.i.tR 

For these races they prepared them*, 
selves by a long course of previous 
discipline and exefcise; and nothing 
was left undone that might contribute 
to secure the victory, ^ In a race 
(if ff*retlin). In the stadium. The 
Stadium, or running ground, or place 
in which the boxers contended, and 
where races were run. At Olympia the 
stadium Was a causeway 604 f^ in 
length, and of proportionable width. 
Herod, lib. 2. c. 149. It was sur- 
rounded by a terrace, and by the seats 
of the judges of the games. At one 
end was fixed the boundary or goal to 
which they ran. ^ Run alL All run 
ivho have entered the lists. Usually 
there were many racere who contended 
for the prize. \ But one reeeiveth the 
prize. The victor, aoid he alone. The 
prize which Was conferred was a wreath 
of olive at the Oljrmpic games; a 
wreath of apple at Delphi ; of pine at 
the Isthmian; and of parsl^ at the 
Nemean games. — Ad^&son, liVhatever 
the prize was, it was conferred on the 
soccessftil chamiOKm on the last day of 

A^i)« &9.] 



25 And erery man ilidt striT- to obtadii a eomptible cfoMi ; 

eth for the mastery is temperate 
^ in all things. Now they do it 

1*1 H I » I II 11 I III I I 

tiie games, and with great eoleiiimty, 
poiAp, congratulation, and rejoicing. 
'^ Every one thronged to see and con- 
gratulate them ;' their relations, tineiids, 
aiid countrymen, shedding tears of ten- 
derness and joy, lifted Uiem on their 
shoulders to show Ihem to the crowd, 
<nd held them up to the applauses of 
die whole assembly, who strewed hand- 
fills of flowers over them/' Anachar. 
iiL 448. Nay, at their return hmaae, 
they rode in a triumphal chariot ; the 
walls of the city were broken down to 
^ve them entrance; and in many 
dties a subcnstence was given them 
out or the public treasury, and they 
were exempted from taxes. Cicero 
fliays dnit a victory at the Olympic 
IJMies was not much less honourable 
tiian a triumph at Rome. 8^ Anachar. 
lit. 469, and Rob. Gal. art Race, When 
Paul says that 'but one receives the 
prize, he does not mean to say that 
there will be the same small propc^on 
Binong those who shaH enter into 
heaven, arid* among Christians, But 
his idea is, tfaaras they make an eflbrt 
to ^btun the prise, so should we; as 
many vrho strive for it then lose it, it is 
possible that we may ; and that tiiero- 
mre we should strive for the crown, 
tfid nnlLe an eflbrt for it, a» y/ but one 
<mt of many could obtain it This, he 
says, was the course which he pursued ; 
and it shows, in a most striking man- 
ner, the foct that an effinrt nun/ be 
made, and thoM be made to enter 
into heaven. \ So rwif that ye may 
Main. 8o run in the Christian race, 
tiiat you may obtain the prize of glory, 
tibe crown incorruptible. So Uve; so 
deny yourselves; so miA:e constant 
tterlton, that you may not foil of that 
prize, the crown of gknry, which awaits 
iSM righteous hi heaven. Comp. Heb. 
JDO. 1. Christians may do this when 
(I.) They give themselves wholly 
to God, and make tlds the gruid 
MiiatfMonifo; (3.)«Wheii1lleyliy 

but we an incorruptible/ 

a2Ttm.4<8. James 1.13. lPet5.4. KevAVk 


asid^ every weight" (Heb. xii. 1}, 
and renounce all sin and all improper 
attachments ; (8.) When they do not 
allow themselves to be diverted from 
the object, but ke^pthe goal eonatani* 
ly in view; (4.) When they do not 
flag, or grow' weary in thmr. ooorse; 
(6.) When they deny themselves ; and 
(6.) When they keep their eye luUy 
fixed on Christ (Heb. xii. 2) as their 
example and their strength, and on 
heaven as the end of their race, and on 
the crown of glory as their reward. 

25. And every man that striveth 
for the maaterff (o if^i^afmot)* That 
agonizes ; that is, that is engaged in 
the exercise of wrestUngy bwpinff, mt 
pitehing the bar or quoit Comip. Note^ 
Luke xiu. 24. The sense is, every 
one who endeavours to obtain a vio^ 
tory in these athletic exercises. 5 •& 
temperate in cdl thinge. The .word 
wlach is rendered '^is tempemto^' 
OyngArlvtrsu) denotes ahittnenee from, 
all tnat^ would excite, stimulate, and 
odtimately enfteUe; from wine, from 
exdtittg and luxurious living, and Snm 
Imentious induigenoes. It means thak 
they did all they could to make the 
body vigorous, active, and supple. Thej 
pursued a course of entiie temperato 
living. Comp. Acts xxiv. 26. 1 Car« 
ni. 9. OaL v. 23. 2Pet L 6. It re- 
lates not only to indulgences unkwfioi 
in themselves, but to abstinence fiooi 
many things .that were regarded as 
lawfiil, but which were believed to 
render the body weak and efSnniiiato.'^ 
The i^ase « in all things" means that 
this eottrsa of temperance or abi^tinebee 
was not confined to one thing, or to 
one class of things, but to every kind 
of food and drink, and every indul- 
gence that had a tonden^ to render the 
body weak atid eflendnato. The pre- 
parations which those who proposed to 
contend in tiisse games madels well 
known ; and is often reAned to by the 
eioriie wiImm BpiDtoto^ «» foetod 



[A. D. 59. 

by Chothu (in looo), tbtu wpetkM oi 
these piepttretions. << Do you wish to 
gun the prize at the Olympic games ? 
consider the requisite preparations and 
the consequence. You must observe 
a strict regimen; must live on food 
which is unpleasant; must abstain 
from all delicacies ; must exercise your- 
8^ at the prescribed times in heat and 
in cold ; you must drink nothing cool 
(4v;t^i') ; must take no wine as usual ; 
, you must put yourself under AfugiUst, 
as you would under a physician, and 
afterward enter the lists. Epict" ch. S5. 
Horace has described the preparations^ 
necessary in the same way. 

Sii studet optatam cuna contingers meiam 
ulta tulii fecitque piier : sudavit, it alsit, 
Atotinuit venere et Saccho. 

De Arte Pdet. 413. 

A vouth who hopes the Olympic prize to gain, 
All arts must try, and every toil sustain ; 
The ez^emes of heat and cold must often 

And snun the weakening joys of wine and 



f 3b obtain a eorrupHbk erown, A 
garland, diadem, or dvic wreath, that 
must soon fade away. The garland 
bestowed on the victor was made 
of olive, pine, apple, laurel, or pais^ 
ley. That would soon lose its beauty 
and fade; of course, it could be of 
little value. Yet we see how eagerly 
^ej sought it; how much selMenial 
those who entered the lists would 
pisctise to obtain it; how long they 
would deny themselvjes of the common 
pleasures of life that they might be 
fluccessfuL 8o much femjD^ftzAce would 
heathens practise to obtain a feding 
wreath of laurel, pine, or parsley! 
Ijeam hence, (1.) The duty of deny^ 
ing ourselves to obtain a far more 
Talnable reward, the Incorruptible 
crown of heaven. (2.) The duty of 
all Cluistians who striye for that crown 
to be temperate in all tfamgs. If the 
heathens practised tomperanee to obtain 
a fiiding laurel,' should not we to ob- 
tain one that never fedes 1 (3.) How 
much their conduct puts to shame 
Hae conduct of many professing Qhria- 
tians and Christian ministeiB. TAey 
■et- such a value on a civic wreath of 
ptneor kniel^ that they wait ^willing to 

deny themsdve^ «nd practise the most 
rigid abstinence. TTiet/ knew that in^ 
dolgence in wihb and in luxurious , 
living unfitted them for the struggte and 
for victory ; they knew that it enfeebled 
their powers, and weakened their frame ; 
and, like rnqjn intent on an object dear 
to them* tlibey abstuned wholly firom. 
these things, apd embraced the prin- 
ciples of total abstinence. Yet how 
many professed Christians, and Chris* 
tian ministers, though striving for the 
crown that fedeth not away, indulge ia 
wine, and in the filthy, ofiensive, and 
^sgusting use of tobacco; and in 
luxurious living, and in habite of indo* 
lence and sloth ! , How many there are, 
that WILT, not give up these habits^ 
though they know that they are en- 
feebling, injurious, offensive,, and de> 
structive to religious comfort and 
usefulness. Can a man be truly in 
earnest in his professed religion; can. 
he be a sineere Christian, who is not 
willing to abandon any thing and every 
thing that will tend to impair tho 
vigour of his mind, and weaken his 
body, and make him a etumbling^ock 
to others 1 (4.) The value of temper^ 
anee is here presented in a very striking 
and impressive view. Whoja even the 
heathens wished to accomplish any 
thing that demanded skll^ strength, 
power, vigo^ of body, thc^ saw the 
necessity of being temperate, and they 
were so. And this proves what all 
experiment has moved, that if men 
Irish to accomplish much, they must be 
temperate. It proves that men can do 
more without intoxicating drink than 
they can with it The example of 
these Grecian Athktae — their wrestlers^ 
boxers, and racers, is againsi all the 
fannei8» and mechanics, and seamen^ 
and day-labowers, and gentlemen, and 
clergymen, and knoyers who plea4 
that stimulating drink is necessary to 
enable them to bear cold and heat, and 
toir and exposure. A little experiene$ 
feom men like the Grecian wrestlers^ 
who had son^ething that they wisha4. 
to do, is much better than a great deii 
of philosophy and sophistical reasonii^ 
firain BIN} who wish to drink, and ^ 




26 I tlMrefoie so nm» not 

find Bome argumont for drinking that 
ahidl be a 8(dvo to their eonscieiicef . 
Perhaps the world has famished no 
Btmnger argmnent in &voar of totai 
oBstinente than the example of the 
Grecian Mhktae, It ia certain that 
their example, the example of men who 
wished to accomptish much by bodily 
vigour and health, is an effectual and 
irrefragable argument agunst all thoS6 
who plead that stimuiattng drinks are 
desirable or neoeasaiy in order to in- 
crease the vigour of the bodily firame. 
f But we. We Christians. 1 An in- 
wrrupHMe. An incorruptible, an 
un&dung crown. The blessings of 
heaven that shall be bestowed on &e 
ilghteous ase often represented under 
tilw image of a crown or diadem ; a 
crown that is unfiiding, and eternal. 
8 Tim. iv. 8. James i 12. I Pet v. 4. 
Rev. it 10 ; iii. 11 ; iv. 4. The doc- 
trine here taught is, tiie necessity rf 
making an efiort to secure eternal -life. 
The apostle neyer thought of entering 
heaven by indolence, or by inactivity. 
He urged, by every possible argument, 
die necessity of malong an exertion to 
secure the rewaids of the just His 
reamm^for^dus effi)rt ate many. Let 
m few be pondered. (1.) The woric of 
salvation is difficult The thousand 
obstacles arising, Ihe love of sin, and 
&e opposition of Satan and of the 
world are in the way. (8.) The dofi- 
gcr ot losing the crown of glorv is 
great Every moment exposes it to 
haaard, for at any moment we may 
die. (3.) The danger is not only 
great, but it is dreddfuL If any thing 
riiould arouse man, it should be the 
apprehensioh of eternal damnatbn and 
everlasting wrath. (4.) Men in this 
life, in the games of Greece, in the 
career of ambition, in the pursuit of 
pleasure and wealth, make Immense 
efforts to obtain th^ fading and perish- 
ing object of tiieir denres. Why 
should not a man be willing to make 
as great effi>rti at least to secure eternal 
glory! (6^ The value of the interest 
lit stake. Eternal happiness is befote 

as uneertefad]^; m figHl Ii nol 

those who will embrace ihe offimt of 
tile. K a man should be inflnenced 
by any thing to make aB eibrt, skooU 
it not be ^ the prospect of eternal' 
gloiyl WhatsAotftf nifloeBcefaimif 
this should not 1 

86. I therefore 90 run. In the Chris* 
tian race; in my efiort to obtain the 
prize, the crown of immortality. 1 exert 
myself to the utmost, that I may nol 
fsal of securing the crown. ^ J^ as 
tinetrtainfy (ov» iih<m\ This woid 
occurs nowhere else in the New Testsp 
ment It usually means, in the dassM' 
writers, choeurehf. Here it means ^Sbak 
he did not run as not knowing to wfaad 
object he umed. ' I do not run at hap* 
hazud; I do not exert myself for 
naught; I know at what I aim, and I 
keep my eye fixed on tfie object; I 
have the goal and die crown in view/ 
Probably also the apostle intended 16 
ecmvey this idea, 'I so tive and act tluA 
I am sure of obtaining the crown. I 
make it a great and gnmd point of my 
life ao to live tiiat there may be no room 
for doubt or hesitabcy about this matter. 
I believe it may be obtained; and that 
by a proper course there may be a con- 
stant certainty of secjuring it; and I so 
£iTB.' O how happy and Messed woatd 
it be if all Christians thns lived I Hour 
mneh doubt, and hesitancy, and d6^ 
spondency would it remove from many 
a Christian's mind T And yet it is mo* 
rally certain that flf every Christian were 
to be only aa anxious and careful a# 
were the ancient Chedan wrestlers and 
racers in the gam6s, they would havo 
die undoubted assurance of gaining the 
prize. Doddridge and Madoiigfat, how- 
ever, render this ' ss not dut of viewf 
or as not distinguished ; meaning that 
the apostle was not unaeenj but that he 
regarded himself as Constantly in the 
view of Uie judge, the Lord Jesus Christ 
I prefer the other interpretation, how- 
ever, as best according wi(£h the con- 
nexion and with ^e prijper meaning 
of the word. 1 So fight I {wrm Tnnlfrtom). 
This word is appfied to the boxers, or 
the pug^Bsts, m tbs Grecian gameii 


L GORnrraiANs. 

[A. D. 59. 

48 one Hoi beatetk ^ air: 
27 But I * keep under my 


Thd exerdae of boxing, or figkUng 
with tiie fiflt» was « part of the enter- 
tttnment with whidi the enlightened 
nations of Greece delighted to amuse 
themselves. ^ Ao/ as one that hmteth 
Me air. The phrase here is taken from 
the habits ot the pugilists or boii^rsy 
who wero aoeostomed, before entering 
the lists, to ezerdse their limbs with 
the gauntlet, in order to acquire greater 
sidU and dexterity. There was a]so» 
before the real contest commenced, a 
play with their fists and weapons, by 
way of show or bravado, which was 
ealkd vmAfnikX^ ^ mock4iattle, or a 
fighting the air. The phrase also is 
iqpplicable to a mimng the aim, when 
a blow was struck in a real struggle, 
and when the adyersary would elude 
the blow, so that it would be spent in 
tiie empty air. This last is the idea 
which Paul means to present. He did 
not miss his aim; he did not exert him- 
self and spend his strength for naught 
Bvery blow that he struck ioldf and 
he did not waste his energies on that 
whiph would produce no result He 
did not strive with rash, ill-advised, or 
uncertain blows ; but all his efforts were 
directed, with good account, to the grand 
purpose of sutjugating his enemy-Hsin, 
and the corrupt desires of the flesh — 
and bringing every thing into captivity 
to God. Much may*j)e learned from 
this. Many an effort of Christians is 
merely beating the air. The energy is 
expended for naught There is a want 
of wisdom, or slull^ or perseverance; 
there is a &iluze of plan ; or there is a 
mistake in regard to what is to be done, 
and what should be done. There is 
often among Chrbtians very little aim 
or object; ^ere is no pkaif and the 
efforts are wasted, scattered, inefficient 
efforts ; so that, at the close oif life, many 
a man may say that he has spent his 
ministry or his Christian course mainly, 
or entirely, in beating the air. Besides,, 
many a one sets up a man of straw, and 
fights that He/onoes error and heresy 

body, and bring t^ into subjec- 
tion; lest that by any means, 

in others, and opposes that He be- 
comes a fterestfrhunter i or be oppose* 
some<irregularity in religion that, if left 
alone, would die of itself; or he fixes 
all his attention on some minor evil, and 
devotes his life to the destruction of 
that alone. When death comes, he may 
have never> struck a blow at one of the 
real and dangerous enemies of the gos- 
pel; and the sin^pie record on the tomb>, 
stone of many a minister and many a 
private Christian plight be, ' Here lies 
one who spent his life in beating the 

27. But J ke^ under my hody- 
(Cmtma^m), This word occurs in the 
New Testament only here and in Luke 
xviiL 5, " Lest by her continual coming 
she weary me** The word is derived 
probably from turJarm, the part of the 
&oe trnder the eye (Pcuaoiuf), and 
means properly, to strike undcx the 
eye, either with the fist or the cestus^ 
80 as to render the part livid, or as we 
say, black and blue ; or as is^vulgar]^ 
termed, to give any one a black eye. 
The word is derived, of course, firom, 
the athletic exercises of the Greeks. It 
then comes to mean, to treat any one. 
with harehneea, severity , or cruelty g 
and thence also, so to treat any evil 
inclinations or dispositions ; or to subject 
oneVself to mortification or.self-deniali 
or to a severe and rigid discipline, that 
all the corrupt passions might be re- 
moved. The word here means, that 
Paul made use of sdl possible means to 
subdue his corrupt and carnal inclina-. 
tions ; to show that he was not under 
the dominion of evil passions, but was^ 
wholly under the dominion of tiie go»> 
pel. t -A^ bring it into subjection 
(iwkAyayZ)» This word properly means, 
to reduce to servitude or slavery ; and 
probably was usually applied to the act 
of subduing an enemy, and leading him 
captive from the field of batUe ; as the 
captives in war were regarded as slaves. 
It then means, efiectually and totally to 
subdue, to conquer, to reduce to bond- 

A. D. 59 J 



when I hayrpreached to otherd, 

_ i^ - ■ - - — - ■ - - — 

\ _ 

age and subjection. Paul means by ft, 
the purpose to obtain a complete victory 
cirer his oomipt possioiii «md pn^pensi- 
ties, and a design to gain the mastery 
Ofnx all his natujral 8^ evil iacUnsHoos. 
5 hMt that by any means* Note, ver. 
id. Paul designed to make every pos- 
sible effort to be saved. He did not 
mean to be lost, hut he meant to be 
saved. He felt that there was danger 
of being deeeiyed and lost; and, he 
meant by some means to have evidence 
of jj^efy that would abide the trial of 
the day of judgment K When I have 
preacJied to ot^s, Doddridge renders 
tlus, 'Mest after having served as a 
herald to others, I should myself be 
disapproved ;", and supposes that there 
was allusion in thiii to the Grecian 
herald, whose business it was to pro- 
ebdm the conditions of the games, to 
display the prizes, A^c* In this inter- 
furetationi also, Macknight, Rosenmiil- 
Isr, Koppe, and most of. the modem 
interpreters agree. They suppose, there- 
fine, that the allusion to tiie .games is 
carried through aU this description. But 
there is this difficulty in this interprets* 
tlon, that it represents the apostle as 
both a herald and a contender in the 
games, and thus leads to an inextricable 
ccmfusion of metaphor. Probiibly, there- 
fi>re, this is to be taken in the usual 
aense of the word preaching in the 
New Testament ; and the apostle here 
is to be understood as dropping the 
metaphor, and speaking in the usual 
manner. He had preadied to others, 
to many others. He had proclaimed 
the gospel hs and near. He had 
nieached to many thousands, and had 
been the means of the conveision of 
iboosands^ The contest, the agony, 
the struggle in which he had been 
engaged, was that of preaching the 
goipel in the most effectual manner. 
And yet he felt that there was d^possi- 
hiUty tlut even after all this he might 
be lost 5 I myseif ehould be a cast- 
away. This word {afvufjLOi) is taken 
ftom had metab, and properly denotes 
those whidi will not bear the test that 

I mTself shodld be a caat-away. 

» p ■■ — '- III 

is applied to them ; that are found to 
be base and worthless, and are therefbra 
rejected and cast away. The apottla 
lutd subjected Umself to trials; He had 
given himself to self-denial and toil; to 
persecution and want; to perils, and 
cold, and nakedness, and hunger. Ha 
had dpne this, among other things, to 
give his religion a fidr trial, to see whe- 
ther it would bear all these tests; aa 
metal is east into the fire to see whe- 
ther it is genuine, or is base andw<Nrth- 
less. In doing this, he had endeavoured 
to subdue his corrupt propensities, and 
bring every thing into captivity to tiM 
Redeemer, that it might be found that 
he was a sincere, and humble, and de- 
voted Christian. Many have supposed 
that the word '< cast-away" here refers 
to those who had entered the lists^ and 
had contended, and who had then been 
examined as to the manner in whi<& 
they had conducted the contest, and had 
been found to have departed from the 
rules of the games, and who were then 
rejected. But this interpretation is too 
artificial and unnatural. The simple 
idea of Paul is, tha^ he was afraid that 
he should be disapproved, rejected, cast 
off; that it would appear, afier all, thai 
he had no religion, and would then be 
cast away as unfit to enter into heaven. 

From the many remarks which might 
be made from this interesting chapter, 
we may select the following : 

1 st We see thii great anxiety which 
Paul had to save souls. This was has 
grand purpose; and lor this he was 
willing to deny himself and to bear 
any trial. 

3d. We should be kind to others; 
we should not needlessly ofGsnd them; 
we should conform to them, as &ir as it 
can be done consistently with Christian 

dd. We should make an effort to be 
saved; O, if men made such exertions 
to obtain a corruptible crown, how much 
greater should we make to obtain one 
that fiideth not away I 

4th. Ministers, like others, are m 
danger of losing their souls. If Paul 




[A. D. 5^ 

OREOYER, brethren, I 
would not that ye should 

* \ 

fdt this danger, who is there em<mg the 
ttiniflten of the croes who ehoold not 
fcel it? If Paul was not safe, who is ? 

6th. The feet ^t a man has preach- 
ed to many is no eertain evidence that 
he will be saved, ver. 27. Paul Ind 
preached to thousands, and jet he felt 
tiiat after all this there was a posstbility 
tiiat he might be lost 

6th. The feet that a man has been 
ireiy saecessfol in the nunistiy is no 
certain evidence that he will be saved. 
God converts men; and he may some* 
times do it by tiie instramentality of 
those who themselves are deceived, or 
are deoeiven. 1%ey may preach much 
troth ; and God may bkss that tratii, 
and make ii the means of saving the 
eooL There is no condasive evidence 
that a man is a Christian simply becanse 
he is a snccessial and laborious preach- 
er, any more than there b that a man 
is a Cluristian because he is a good 
fermer, and became God sends down 
tike rain and the sanshine on his fields. 
Paul felt that even his success was no 
certain evidence that he would be saved. 
And if Paul felt thus, who should noi 
feel that after the most distinguished 
success, he may himsdlf be at last a 

7tii. It win be a solemn and awful 
tinng for a minister of tiie gospel, and 
a BWxet^M minister, to go £>wn to 
helL What more feaxftil doom can be 
conceived, Ihan after having led others 
in the way to life ; after having described 
to them tiie glories of heaven; after 
having conducted theon to the " sweet 
fields beyond the swelling flood" of 
death, he should find himself shut out, 
rejected, and cast down to hell ! What 
more terrible can be imagined in the 
world of perdition tiian tiie doom of one 
who was once a minister of God, and 
once esteemed as a light in the church 
and a guide of souls, now sentenced 
to inextinguishable fires, while multi- 

be ignorant, howdnl all our 
fathers were under * the clouS, 
and ^ all passed through the sea; 

aBz.iasi,2LNiniL9Ll&«l. 6£x.l4.19-2£aS. 

tudfs saved by him shall have goner to 
heaven ! How fearful is the conditio^ 
and how solemn tiie vocation of a mi- 
nister of the gospel ! 

8th. Ministers should be soticitoai 
about their personal piety. Paul, one 
nught suppose, might have rested con> 
tented with the remarkable manner of 
his conversion. He might have sup* 
posed tiiat that put the matter bey<»d 
aO poasible doubt But he did no sncA 
thing. He felt that it was neeessaiy to 
have evidence day W day that he was 
then a Christian. Of all men, PMd 
was perhaps least deposed to live on 
past experience, and to trust to sueh 
experience. Of all men, he had pei^ 
haps most reason to trust to such expe* 
rience; and yet how seldom does he ribt 
to it, how litUe does he regard it ! The 
great question with him ¥ras,''Am I 
now a Christian? am I living as a 
Christian should now ^ am I evindng 
to others, am I giving to myself daily, 
constant, growing evidence tiiat I am 
actuated hy the pure principles of the 
gospel, apd ^t that gospel is the object 
of my highest preference, and my hoBesI 
and constant desire ?* O how holy would 
be the ministry, if all should endeaTonr 
every day to live and act for Christ and 
for souls with as much steadiness and 
fidelity as £d the apostle Paul! 

Iir regard to the design of this diap> 
ter commentators have not been agreed. 
Some have supposed that there is no 
connexion with the preceding, but that 
this is a digression. The and^it Greek 
expositors generally, and some of the 
moderns, as Grotius, supposed that the 
connexion was Ihis : Paul had in the 
previous chapter described himself as 
mortifying his flesh, and heepmg his 
body under, that he migjht gain tiie 
prize. In this chapter tiiey suppose 
tiiat his object is to exhort the Corintb* 
ians to do the same ; and tiu^& older 

A.D. 59.] 



to do thu» h6 admonidies tfaem not to 
be lolled into secority bj the idea of the 
many ipiiitiial gifts whidi had been 
oonfened upon them. This admonition 
he enforces by the example of the Jews, 
who had been highly &voaied also, 
hat who had neverdielesB been led into 
idoiatiy. This is also the view of 
Doddridge, Calvin, and others. Mai>> 
knight reg^B the chapter as an inde- 
pendent discussion of the three ques- 
tions, which he supposes had been 
submitted to Paul : (1.^ Whether they 
might innocently go with their friendif 
into the heathen temples, and partake 
of the feasts which were there made in 
honour of the idoL (2.) Whether they 
might biiy and eat meat sold in the 
markets which had been sacrificed to 
idols. (3.) Whether, when invited to 
the houses of the headiens, they might 
partake of the meat sacrificed to idols, 
and which was set before them as a 
common meal. — I regard this diapter 
as having a very close connexion with 
ch. viii In the close of ch. viiL (ver. 
13), Paul had stated, when examining 
tfie question whether it was right to eat 
meat offered in sacrifice to idols, that 
the grand principle on which he acted, 
and on which they should act, was that 
of adf-demoL To illustrate this he 
employs the ninth chapter, by showing 
how he acted on it in reforence to a 
maintenance ; shewing that it was this 
principle that led him to dedine a sup- 
port to which he was really entitlcSt 
Having illustrated that, he rehuma in 
diis chapter to the subject which he 
was discussing in ch. viii.; and the 
design of this chapter is fiirther to* 
explain and enforce the sentiments 
advanced there, and to settle some 
other inquiries pertaining to t|ie same 
general subject The Jint point, there- 
fore, on whidi he insists is, the danger 
of rdapang into idolatry — a danger 
whidi would arise should they be in 
the habit of frequenting the temples of 
idols, and of partaking of the meats 
oflered in sacrifice, ver.l — ^24. Against 
this he had cautioned them in general, 
In eh. viiL 7. 9— 12, This danger he 

tions. He first shows Uiem that the 
Jews had been highly favoured, had 
been solemnly c on secrated to Moses 
and to God, and had been under the 
divine protection and gmdanoe (ver, 
1 — 4); yet that this had not kept 
them from the displeasure of Goi when 
they sinned, ver. 5. He shows that 
notwithstanding their privileges, they 
had indulged in inordinate desires (ver. 
6); that they had become idolaters 
(ver. 7) ; that they had been guilty of' 
licentiousness (ver. 8) ; that Siey hadf 
tempted their leader and guide (ver> 
9) ; thai they had murmured (ver. 10) ; 
and that, ha a consequence of this, many 
of them had been destroyed. In view 
of all this, Paul cautions the Corinthi- 
sns not to be self-confident, or to feel 
secure; and not to throw themselves 
in the way of temptation by partaking 
of the feasts of i&latry. ver. 12— 14, 
This danger he further illustrates (ver. 
15. 24) by showing that if they partook 
of those sacrifices, they in fiict became 
identified with the worahippers of i^ola. 
This he proved by. showing that in the 
Christian communion, those who par- 
took of the Lord's supper were identi- 
fied with Christians (ver. 16, 17) ; that 
in the Jewish sacrifices the same thing 
occurred, and that those who partook 
of them were regarded as Jews, and at 
worahippers of the same God with 
them (ver. 18) ; and that the same 
thing must occur, in the nature of the 
case, by partaking of the sacrifices offer- 
ed to (dols. They were really partak- 
ing of that which had been ofiered to 
danlsf and against any such partici> 
pation Paul would solemnly admcHiish 
them. ver. 19—22. Going on the sup- 
position, therefore, that there was no- 
thing wrong in itself in partaking oj* 
the meat that had been thus killed in 
sacrifice, yet Paul says (ver. 23) thai 
it was not expedient thus to expose 
themselves to danger; and that the 
grand principle should be to seek the 
comfort and edification of others. ve«. 
24« Paxil thus strongly and decisively 
admonishes them not to enter the tem^ 
pies of idols to partake of those feasts; 
not to unite irith idolatsKs ia their cele- 




[A. D. 59« 

f _ 

bration ; not to endanger their piety by 
these temptations. 

There were, however, two other qaes- 
tiona on the subject which it was im- 
portant to decide, and Which had pro- 
bably been submitted to him in the 
letter which they had sent for couhsel 
and advice. The first was, whether it 
was ri^^t to purchase and eat the meat 
which had been sacrificed, and which 
was exposed indiscriminately with other 
meat in the market ver. 26. To 
this Paul replies, that as no evil could 
xesult from this, as it could not be 
alleged that they purchased it aa meat 
aaciificed to idol^ and as all that the 
earth contained belonged to the Lord, 
it was not wrong to purchase and to 
use it Yet if even this was pointed 
out to them as having been sacrificed 
to idols, he then cautioned them to 
abstain from it ver. 28. The other 
question was, whether it was right for 
tiiem to accept the invitation of a hea- 
then, and to partake of meat then that 
had been offered in sacrifice, ver. 27. 
To this a similar answer was returned. 
The general principle was, that no ques- 
tions were to beoisked in regard to what 
was set before them; but if the food 
was expressly pointed out as having 
been ofiered in sacrifice, then to par- 
^e of it would be regarded as a public 
recognition of the idoL ver. 28 — 30. 
Paul then concludes the discussion by 
stating the noble rule that is to guide 
in all this: that every thing is to be 
done to the glory of God (ver. 31) ; 
and that the great effort of the Chris- 
tian should be so to -act in all things as 
to honour his religion, as not to lead 
others into sin. ver. 32, 33. 

1. Moreover, brethren. But, or now 
(it). This verse, with the following 
illustrations (ver. 1 — 4), is properly 
connected in Paul's argument with the 
statements which he had made in ch. 
viii 8, &c., and is designed to show 
the danger which would result from 
their partaking of the feasts that were 
celebrated in honour of idols. It is not 
improbable, as Mr. Locke supposes, that 
the Corinthians might have urged that 
they were constantly solicited hy their 

heathen friends to attend those feasts; 
that in their circumstances it was scarce* 
ly possible to avoid it; that there could 
be no danger* of their relapsing into 
idolatry; and their doing so could not 
be o£^nsive to God, since they were 
knov^ii to be Christians; since they had 
been baptized, and purified from sin; 
since they were devoted to his aerwioe ; 
since they knew that nn idol was no- 
thing in the world; and since they had 
been so highly favoured, as the people 
of God, with so many extraordinary en- 
dowments, and were so strongly guarded 
against the possibility of becoming idolr 
aters. To meet these considerations, 
Paul refers them to the example of the 
ancient Jews. They also were the peo- 
ple of God. They had been solemnly 
dedicated to Moees and to God. Thev 
had been peculiarly &voured with spi- 
ritual food from heaven, and with drink 
miraculously poured from the rock. Yet 
notwithstanding this, they had forgot' 
ten God, had become idolaters, and had 
been destroyed. By their example, 
therefore, Paul would warn the Co- 
rinthians agamst a sinnlar danger. 1 1 
voould not thai ye should he tgnorant» 
A large part of the church at Corinth 
were Gentiles. It could hardly be sup- 
posed that they were well informed 
respecting the ancient history of the 
Jews. Probably they had leaA these 
things in the Old Testament; but they 
might not have them distinctly in their 
recollection. Paul brings diem dis- 
tinctly before their minds, as an illus- 
tration and an admonition. The sense 
is, *l would not have you unmindfril or 
forgetful of these things ; I would have 
you recollect this case, and ' sufier their 
example to influence your conduct I 
would not have you suppose that even 
a solemn consecration to God and the 
possession of distinguished tokens of 
divine favour are a security against the 
danger of sin, and even apostasy ; since 
the example of the &voured Jews shows 
that even in such circumstances there 
is danger.' ^ How that all lour fathen. 
That is, the fathers of the Jewish com* 
munity; the Others of us who are 
Jewsk Paid speaks here as being him- 

A. D« 59.] 



2 And were all baptized unto 

self a Jew, and refers to his own an- 
ec»ton as such. The word ** all'* here 
seems to be introduced to give emphasis 
to the 6ct that even those who were 
destroyed (ver. 5) also had this privi- 
lege. It could not be pretended that 
they had not been devoted to God, 
since all of them had been thus con- 
jwcrated professedly to his service. 
The entire Jewish community which 
Moses led forth from Egypt had thus 
been devoted to him. ^ Were under 
theclowL The cloud — the fiS^ec&tnoA— 
the visible symbol of the divine pre- 
tence and protection that attended them 
out of Egypt This went before them 
by day as a cloud to gfuide them, and 
by night it became a pillar of fire to 
give them light Ex. xiii. 21, 22. In 
the dangers of the Jews, when closely 
pressed by the Egyptians, it went be- 
hind them, and became dark to the 
Egyptians, but light to the Israelites, 
thus constituting a defence. Ex. xiv. 
20.' In the wilderness, when travelling 
trough the burning desert, it seems to 
have been, expanded over the camp as 
a covering, and a defence from the in- 
tense rays of a burning sun. Num. x. 
84, ** And the cloud of Jbhotah was 
upon them by day." Num. xiv. 14, 
** Thy cloud standeth over them;" To 
this &ct the apostle refers here. It was 
a symbol of the divine favour and pro- 
tection. Comp. Isa. iv. 6. It was a 
guide, a shelter, and a defence. • The 
Jewish Rabbins say that **the cloud 
eneompaaeed the camp of the Israelites 
as a wall encompasses a city, nor could 
the enemy come near them." Pirke 
Eleazer, c 44, as quoted by Gill. The 
probability is, that the cloud extended 
over the whole camp-of Israel, and that 
U> those at a distance it appeared as a 
pillar. ^ And all passed through the 
tea. The Red Sea, under the guidance 
of Moses, and by the miraculous inter- 
position of God. Ex. xiv. 21, 22. Tina 
was also a proof of the divine protec- 
tion and favour, and is so adduced by 
the apostle. His object is to aeeumu- 
hie the evidoices of the divine &vour 

Moses in the clond and in the sea; 

to them, and to show that they had as 
many securities against apostasy as the 
Corinthians had, on which they so 
much relied. 

2. And were all baptized. In regard 
to the meaning of the word baptizedf 
see Note on Matt iii. 6. We are not 
to suppose that the rite of baptism, as 
we understand it, was formally admi- 
nistered by Moses, or by any other 
person, to the Jews, for there is not 
the least evidence that any such rite 
was then known, and the very drcum- 
stances here refisnred to forbid such an 
interpretation. They were baptized 
"in the cloud" and *'in the sea," and 
this cannot be understood as a religious 
rite administered by the hand of man« 
It is to be remembered that the word 
baptism has two senses— the one refeiv 
ring to the aj^lication of water as a 
re^gious rite, in whatever mode it is 
done ; and the other the sense of de^" 
eating, eoneeerating, initiating intOp 
or bringing under obligation to. And 
it is evidently in this latter sense that 
the word is used here, as denotiag that 
they were devoted to Moses as a leader, 
they were brought under his laws, they 
became bound to obey him, they were 
placed under his protection and guid* 
ance by the miraculous interposition 
of God. This was done by the feet 
that their passing through the sea, and 
under the cloud, in this manner, brought 
them under the authority and direction 
of Moses as a leader, and vfas a public 
recognition of their^ing his followers, 
and being bound to obey his laws. 
1 Unto Mioses (mc). This is th& same 
preposition which is used in the form 
of baptism prescribed in Mattxxviiu 
19. See Note on that place. It means 
that "diey were thus devoted or dedi- 
cated to Moses; they received and ac- 
knowledged him as their ruler and 
guide ; tiiey professed subjection to his 
laws, and were brought under his 
authority. They were thus initiated 
into his religion, and thus recognised 
his divine mission, imd bound them- 
selves to obey his in junctions.-— Bibom- 



[A. D. 59 

Mdd. %£i ^ doud. Tlus cuiimt 
be proved to meen that they were en- 
veloped endy a*, it were, immarwed in 
die doud, for there is np evidenoe that 
die okyad thus enveloped them, or that 
they were immersed in it at a penon 
]« in water. The whole account 
in the Old Testament leads us to sup> 
pose that the cload either passed before 
them as a piUar, or that it had the 
same form in the rear of their camp, or 
that 'it was suspended over them, and 
was thus the symbol of the divine pro- 
tectioD. It would be altogether im- 
probatee that the dark doiid would 
pervatk the camp. It would thus em- 
barrass their movements, and there is 
not the slightest intimation in the Old 
Testamoit that it did. Nor is there 
pmy probatnlity in the suppositiim of 
Dr. Gill and others, that the cloud, as 
it passed from the rear to the fitmt of 
the campy '< let down a plentiful rain 
upon them, whereby they were in such 
a condition as if they had been all over 
dipped in water." For, (1.) There is 
not the slightest intimation of this in 
iIm Old Testament (8.) The sappo- 
ation is eontrary to the very design of 
the cloud. It was not a natural cloud, 
but was a symbol of the divine pre- 
smoe and protection. It was not to 
give jain on the Israelites, or on the 
land, but it was to guide, and to be an 
emblem of the care of God. (3.) It is 
doing vidence to the Scriptures to 
introduce suppositions in this manner 
without the slightest authority. It is 
farther to be observed, that thiiB suppo- 
sition does by no n^eana give any aid 
to the cause of the Baptist after all. In 
what conceivable sense were diey, even 
on this sttj^KMsition, immersed ? Is it 
immenion in water when one is ex- 
posed to a shower of lain ? We speak 
of being apritdded or drenched by rain, 
but is it not a violation of all propriety 
of language to say that a man is tm- 
mersed in a shovrer 1 If the supposi- 
tion, therefore, is to be admitted, that 
rain foil from the doud as it passed 
over the Jews, and that this is meant 
here by « baptism unto Moses," then 
it would follow that tprinkUng nould 

be the mode v^rred to, since this ia 
the only form that has resemblance to 
a falling idiower. But the supposition 
is not necessaiy. Nor is it needful to 
suppose that water waiB applied to them 
at lUL The thing itself is improbable ; 
and the whole case is. met by the sim> 
pie stipposition that the apot^e meaiiM 
that they were initiated in this way 
into the religion of Mosep, recogniaed 
his divine mission, and under the cloud 
became his followers and subject to hia 
laws. And if this interpretation is cor- 
rect, then it follows that the word bap' 
tize does not of necessity mean to tflt- 
miCrae* ^ And in the aea. Tins m 
another expression that goes to deter* 
mine the sense of the w6rd baptize. 
The sea, referred to here is the Red Sea, 
and the event was the passage tiirough 
that sea. The fact in the case was, 
that the Lord caused a strong east wind 
to blow all night, and made the sea dry 
land, and the waters were divided (Ex. 
xiv. 21), and the waters were a wall 
unto them on the right hand and on 
the left Ex. xiv. 22. From this 
whole narrative it is evident that they 
passed through the sea witliout being 
immersed in it. The waters were 
driven into high adjacent walls for the 
very purpose that they might pass be> 
tween th«n dry and safe. There is 
the fullest proof tiiat they were not 
submerged in the water. J)r. Gill sup- 
poses tibat the water stood up above 
their heads, and that ** they seemed to 
be immersed in it" This might be 
true; but this is to give up the idea 
that the word baptize means always to 
immerse in. water, since it is a foct, 
according to this supposition, that they 
were not thus immersed, but only 
seemed to be. And all that can be 
meant, therefore, is, that they were la 
this manner initiated into the rdigion 
of Moses, convinced of his divine muh 
sion, and brought under subjection to 
him as their leader, lawgiver, and guide. 
This passage is 6 very importeiit one 
to prove that the word baptism doea 
not necessarily mean entire immersieii 
in water. It is perfeetiy dear that 
ndther the doud nor the waters toui^ed 




3 And did all eat the same 
spiritual xneat ;* 

aT:x.l6.15,35. Neh.9.15,90. Fb.78JU^. 

— ^^— i' I I » III ■ ii.< » I.I I I 

them. '< They went throng^ the midst 
of the sea on dry ground." It remains 
only to b^ asked whether, if immefsion 
w«8 th^ only mode of baptbm known 
in the New Testament, the apostle 
Paul would have used the word not 
only so as not necessarily to imply that, 
but as neeeasarily to mean something 
ebe? - 

8. And did all eat the same spiritual 
meat. That is, manna. Ex. xvi. 15. 
3& Neh. ix. 15. 20. The word meat 
here is used in the old English sense 
of the word, to denote food in general. 
They lived on manna. The word spi- 
ritual here is evidently used to denote 
that which was given by the Spirit, or 
by God ; that which was the result of 
lus miraculous gift, and which was not 
produced in the ordinary way, and 
which was not the gross food on which 
men are usually supported. It had an 
excellency and value from the &ct that 
it was the immediate gift of God, and 
is thus called '* angel's food." Ps. Ixxviii 
25. It is called by Josephus " divine 
and extraordinary food." Ant iii. 1. 
Id the language of the Scriptures, that 
which is distinguished for excellence, 
which is the immediate gift of God, 
which is unlike that which is gross 
and of earthly oiigin, is called ^tri^ua A 
to denote its purity, value, and excel- 
lence. Comp. Rom. vii. 14. 1 Cor. iii. 1; 
zv.44.46. Eph.i.3. The idea of Paul 
here is, that all the Israelites were 
nourished and supported in this re- 
markable manner by food given directly 
by God; that they all had thus the 
evidence of the divine protection and 
fiivour, and were all under his care.. 

4. And did all drink the same spi- 
ritwd drink. The idea here is essen- 
tially ihe same as in the previous verse, 
that Ihey had been highly favoured of 
Ood, and enjoyed tokens of the divine 
care and guardianship. That was mani- 
fested in the miraculous supply of water 
in the desert, thus showing that they 
were under the divine protection, and 

4 And did all drink the same 
spiritual drink ; * for they drank 

b Ex.17.6. Nuin.20.11. 

were objects of the divine favour. 
There can be no doubt that by << spi- 
ritual drink" here the apostle refers to 
the water that was made to gush from 
the rock that was smitten by Moses; 
Ex. xvii. 6. Num. xx. 11. Why this 
is called " spiritual" has been a fubjed 
on which there has been much difter- 
ence of opinion. It cannot be because 
there was any thing peculiar in tha 
nature of the water, for it was evidently 
real water, fitted to allay their thirst. 
There is no evidence, as many have 
supposed, that there was a reference in 
this to ^e drink used in the Lord's 
supper. But it must mean that it was 
bestowed in a miraculous and super* 
natural manner ; and the word << spirit 
ual" must be used in the sense of super- 
natural, or that which is immediately 
given l]^ God. Spiritual blessings thus 
stand opposed to natural and temporal 
blessings, and the former denote those 
which are immediately given by. God 
as an evidence of the divine favour. 
That the Jews used the word " spiritual" 
in this nuinner is evident from the 
writings of the Rabbins. Thus they 
called the manna *< spiritual food 
(Yade Mose in Shemor Rabba, fol. 109« 
3); and their sacrifices they called 
*' spiritual bread" (Tzeror Hammor, foL 
93. 2).— (?£//. The drink, therefore^ 
here referred to was that bestowed in a 
supernatural manner, and as a proof 
of the divine favour. ^ For they drank 
of that spiritiuil Rock, Of the watem 
which flowed from that rock. The 
Rock here is called " spiritual," not from 
any thing peculiar in the nature of the 
rock, but because it was the source to 
them of superiAitural mercies, and be- 
came thus the emblem and demonstra- 
tion of the divine fiivour, and of spiritual 
mercies, conferred upon them by God. 
^ T%at followed them. Margin, Warf 
with (ajuxovd-oi/inrc). This evidently 
cannot mean that the rock itself lite- 
rally followed them, any more than that 
they literally drank the rock, for one le 



[A. D. 59. 

of Ihat spiritiial Rock that * fol- 

lor, toen/tfttft. 

m ezpranly affinned, if it be taken lite- 
nlly, as the other. But as when it is 
•aid they " diank of the rock," it must 
mean that they drank of the water that 
flowed fyjim the lock; so when it is said 
that ihe " rock followed" or accompa- 
nied them, it must mean that the' luaUr 
that flowed from the rock accompanied 
diem. This figure of speech is common 
everywhere. Thus the 8anour said 
(1 Cor. xi. 35), " Thii cop is tfad new 
testament," that is, the ujinc in this cup 
represents my blood, dec; and Paul 
says (1 Cor. xi. 25. 27^, ** whosoever 
shall drink this cup of the Lord un- 
worthily," that is, the wine in the 
eup, &c., and, '* as often as ye drink 
this cup," dtc, that is, the wine con- 
tained in the cup. It would be absurd 
to suppose that the rock that was smit- 
ten by Moses literally followed them in 
the wilderness; and there is not the 
lightest evidence in the Old Testae 
m^nt that it did. Water was twice 
brought out of a rock to supply the 
wants of the children of IsraeL Once 
at mount Horeb, as recorded in Ex. 
xvii. 6, in the wilderness of Sin, in the 
first year of their departure from Egypt. 
The second time water was brought 
from a rock about the time of the death 
itf Miriam, at Kadesh, and probably in 
the fortieth year of their departure from 
Egypt Num. xx. 1. It was to the 
fermer of these occasions that the apos- 
tle evidently refers. In regard to this 
we may observe, (1^ That there must 
have been frimished a large quantity 
ef water to have supplied the wants of 
more than two millions of people. 
(2.) It is expressly stated (Deut ix. 
21), that ''the brook. (Snriy stream, 
torrent, or river, see Num. xxxiv. 5. 
Josh. XV. 4. 47. 1 Kings viiL 65. 2 
Kings xxiv. 7) descended out of the 
mount," and was evidently a stream 
of considerable size. (3.) Mount Ho- 
reb was higher than the adjacent coun- 
try, and the water that mus gushed 
from the rock, instead of collecting into 
ft pool and fieffftming stagnant, would 

lowed diem : and that Rock was 

flow off in the direction .of the 
(4.) The sea to which it would natu- 
ral^ flow would be the Red Sea, in 
the direction of the Eastern or Elanitio 
branch of that sea. (5.) The Israelite* 
would doubtless, in their jouxneyinga^ 
be influenced by the natural direction 
of the water, or would not wander te 
from it, as it was daily needful for tba 
supply of their wants. (6.) At the 
end of thirty-seven yean we find tiie 
Israelites at Ezion-geber, a seaport on 
the eastern branch of the Red Sea, 
where the waters probably fiowed into 
the sea. Num. xxxiii. 36. In the foi^ 
tieth year of their departure fixtm Egypt^ 
they left this place to go into Canaan 
by the country of Edom, and were im- 
mediately in distress again by the want 
of water. It is thus probabk that the 
water from the rock continued to flow, 
and that it constituted a stream, or 
river; that it was near their camp all 
the time till they came to Ezion-geber; 
and that thus, together with the daily 
supply of manna, it was a proof of tho 
protection of God, and an emblem of 
their dependence. If it be said that 
there is now no such stream to be 
found there, it is to be observed that it 
is represented as miraculous, and that 
it would be just as reasonable to look 
for the daily descent of manna there in 
quantities sufficient to supply more 
than two millions of men, as to expect 
to find the guiding and running river 
of water. The only question ^ whe> 
ther God can work a miracle, and 
whether there is evidence that he hps 
done it This ia not the place to exa- 
mine that question. But the evidence 
is as strong that he wrought this mira- 
cle as that he gave the manna, and 
neither of them is inconsistent with 
the power, the wisdom, or the benevo- 
lence of God. 1 And thai Rock wot 
Christ, This cannot be intended to 
be understood UteraUy^ for it was not 
Jiterally true. The rock from which 
the water flowed was evidently an ordi- 
nary rock, a part of mount Horeb; and 

A. D. 69.] 




5 Butwith many of them God 
was not well pleased ; for 4he7 

■»*— .. I .. I .. ,11. 11.11 1 ■ 

all ihat this can mean ia, that thai rock, 
with the stream of water ihus gashing 
from it, was a repreaentoHon of the 
Mesriah. The word was is thus often 
used to denote similarity or representa« 
tion, and is not to be taken literally. 
Thus, in the institution of the Lord's 
•upper, the Saviour says of the bread, 
^ This is my body," that is, it repre- 
%ent8 my body. Thus also of the cup, 
''This cup %9 the new testament in my 
Ubod,'' tlmt is, it represents my blood. 
1 Cor. xi. 24, 25. Thus the gudiing 
finmtain of water might be regaideehas 
a representation of the Messiah, and of 
the blessings which result from him. 
The apostle does not say that the Is- 
raelites knew that this was designed to 
be a representation of the Messiah, and 
of the blessings which flow from him, 
though there is nothing improbable in 
the supposition that they so understood 
and regarded it, since sll their institu- 
tions were probably regarded as typical. 
But he evidently doea mean to say that 
the rock was a vivid and aflecting re- 
presentation of the Messiah ; that the 
Jews did partake of the mercies that 
llowirom him; and that even in the 
desert they were under his care, and 
had in fiict among them a vivid repre- 
aentatiim of him in some sense corres- 
ponding with the emblematic repre- 
sentation of the same favours which 
the Corinthian and other Christians 
had in the Lord's supper. This repre- 
sentation of the lAtmah, perhapB, was 
understood by Pftul U> consist in the 
following things : (1.) Christians, like 
the children of Israel, are passing 
tinough the world as pilgrims, and to 
them that world is a wilder ne s s a 
desert (2.) They need continued 
•applies, as the Israelites did, in their 
journey. The world, like that wilder- 
ness, does not meet their necessities, or 
supply their wants. (3.) That rock 
was a striking representation of the 
fblness of the Messiah, of the abun- 
dtnl grace which ha imparts to hja 

were oyerthrown * in the wiljer- 

• NaBa.l49»-a6;9B4M,|6S. HsbJir. Ji^f. 

people. (4.) It was an illustration of 
their continued and constant depend* 
ence <m him for the idaily supply of 
thdr wants. It should be obs e rve d 
that many expositora understand this 
fiteially. Bloomfield translates it, ««n4 
they were supplied with drink fnm, 
the spiritual Roc^ which followed themy' 
even Christ" 8o RosenmliUer, Cahri% 
Glass, dec In defence of this intes- 
{Hretation, it is said, that the Messiah m 
often calkd '* a rodi" in the Scriptures; 
that the Jews believe that the ** angel 
of jBaOYAH" who attended them (Ez« 
iii. 2, and other places) was the Mes- 
siah ; and that the design of the apostle 
was, to show that this aliendilhg Roek, 
the Messiah, was the souroe of all their 
blessings, and particulariy of the Water 
.that gushed from the rock. But the 
interpretation suggested above seems 
to me to be most natural. The design^ 
of the aposUe is apparent It is to 
iihow to the Corinthians, who relied so 
much on their privileges, and felt them- 
selves so secure, that the Jews had ike 
very sam«prm^li^e»— had the hig^iesl 
tokens of ue divme fevour and proteo* 
tion, were under the guidance and graoo 
of God, and were partaken oonstantiy 
of that which adumbrated or typified 
the Messiah, in a manner as real, and 
in a form as much fitted to keep up 
the remembrance of their dependence, 
as even the bread and wine in the 
Lord s suj^per. 

5. Biit with many of thern^ dec. 
That is, with their conduct They re* 
belled and sinned, and were destroyed* 
The design of the apostie here is, to 
remind them that although they enjoy* 
ed 80 many privileges, yet they were 
destroyed; and thos to admonish the 
Corinthians that their privil^ies did 
not constitute an absolute security 
from danger, and that they ^oald be 
cautious against the indulgence of sin. 
The phrase rendered here <* with many" 
(iv *nk srxfioaw) should have been ren- 
dered 'vritii most of them,' literally < with 


6 Now the«e things were *our 
examples, to the intent we should 
not lust after evil things, as they 
'also lusted. 

? Neither be ye idolaters, as 

> thejiguret. a Num.U. 4*33^31 

the many ;' and it means that with the 
greater part of them God was not well 
pleased ; that is, he was pleased with 
DUt few of thein. 1 Was not well 
pleased. Was offended with their in- 
gratitude and rebellion, t Fff they 
were overthrown, dec That is, by the 
pestilence, by wars, or died by natural 
and usual diseases,, so that they did not 
reach the land of Canaan. But two 
men of that generation, Caleb and 
Joshua, were permitted to enter the 
land of promise. Num. xiv. 39, 30. 

6. Now these things. The judg- 
ments inflicted on them by God for 
their sins.^ ^ Were our examples. 
Greek, Types (rti^roi). Margin, Figures. 
Th^ were not designed to be types of 
us, but they are to be held up as fur- 
nishing an admonition to us, or a 
warning that we do not sin in the same 
way. The same God directs our 
affairs that ordered thmrs; and if we 
sin as they did, we also must expect 
to be punished, and excluded from 
the favour of God, and from heaven. 
^ Lust after evil things. Desire those 
things which are forbidden, and which 
would be injurious. They lusted 
after flesh, and God granted thepi 
their desires, and the consequence was 
a plague, and the destruction of multi- 
tudes. Ex. xi. 4. 3t— 34. 8o Paul 
infers that the Corinthian Christians 
should not lust after, or desire the meat 
offered in sacrifice to idols, lest it should 
lead them also to sin and ruin. 

7. Neither be ye idolaters. This cau- 
tion is evidently given in view of the 
danger to which they would be exposed 
if they partook of the feasts that were 
celebrated in honour of idols in their 
temples. The particular idolatry which 
is referred to here is, the worship of the 
golden calf that was made by Aaron. 
Ex. xxxii. 1-^. ^ As it is written. 

[A.D. 59b 

were some pf them ; as it is 
written, * The people sat down 
to eat and drink, and rose up to 
8 Neither let us commit for- 

Ex. xxxii. 6. 1 The people sat down, 
to eat and to drink. To worship the 
goklen calf. They partook of a feast 
in honour of that idol. I have already 
observed that it was common to keep a 
feast in lionour of an idol, and that the 
food which was eaten on such an ooca- 
sion was mainly the meat which had been 
offered in saerifice to it This instance 
was particularly to the apostle's purpose, 
as he was cautioning the Corinthians 
against the danger of participating in 
the feasts celebrated in the heathen 
temples. % And rose up to play 
(ff-tici^tty). The Hebrew word used in 
Ex. xxxiL 7 (pns*?) means to laugh, to 
sport, to jesty to mock, to insult (Geju 
xxi. 9) ; and then to engage in dances 
accompanied with music, in honour of 
an idoL This was often practised, as 
the worship of idols was celebrated 
with songs and dances. This is par- 
ticularly aflBurmed of this instance of 
idol worship (Ex. xxxii. 19); and this 
was common among ancient idolaters ; 
and this mode of worship was even 
adopted by David before the ark of the 
LonI. 2 Sam. vi. 5. 1 Chron. xiii. 8 ; 
XV. 29. All that the word " to play" 
here necessarily implies is, that of cho« 
ral songs and dances, accompanied 
with revel ly in honour of the idol. It 
was, however, the fact that such wor« 
ship was usually accompanied with 
much licentiousness; but that is not 
necessarily implied in the use of the 
word. Most of the oriental dances 
were grossly indecent and licentious^ 
and the wonl here may be designed to 
include such indelicacy and licentious* 

8. Neither let us commit fomieationf 
&c The case referred to here was 
that of the licentious intercourse with 
the daughters of Moab, referred to in 
Num. XXV. 1 — 9. 1 And fell in one 

A.D 59.] 



nioation, as some * of ihem com- 
mitted^ and fell in one day three 
and twenty thousand. 

a Num.25.1— 9. 

day. Were slain for their sin by the 
plague that prevailed. 1 Three and 
twenty thouaand, The Hebrew text 
. in Num. xzv. 9, is twenty-four thou- 
aand. In order to reconcile these state- 
ments, it may be observed that perhaps 
twenty-three thousand fell directly by 
the plague, and one thousand were 
■lain by Phinehas and his companions 
(GWitM) ; or it may be that the num- 
ber was between twenty-three and 
twenty4bur thousand, and* it might 
be expressed in round numbers by 
either. — Maeknight, At all events, 
Paul has not exceeded the truth. 
There were at host twenty-three thou- 
aand that fell, though there might 
haive been more. The probabU sup- 
pootion is, that the three and twenty 
thousand fell immediately by the hand 
of God in the plague, and the other 
thousand by the judges ; and as Paul's 
design was particularly to mention the 
proofs oC Uie immediate divine dis- 
pleasure, he refers only to those who 
fell by that, in illustration of his sub- 
ject — ^There was a particular reason 
for this caution in respect to licentious- 
ness. (1.) It was common among all 
iddaters; and Paul, in cautioning 
them against idolatry, would naturally 
warn £em of this danger. (2.) It was 
common at Corinth. ' It was the preva^ 
lent vice there. To Corinthianize was 
a term synonymous among the ancients 
with licentiousness. (3.) 8o common 
was this at Corinth, tiiat, as we have 
seen (see the Introduction), not less 
than a thousand prostitutes were sup- 
pcnrted in a single temple there; and 
the aij was visited by vast multitudes 
of foreigners, among other reasons 
on account of its fecilities for this sin. 
Christians, therefore, were in a peculiar 
manner exposed to it; and hence the 
anxiety of the cqpostle to warn them 
•gainst it 

9 Neither let us tempt ' Chitst, 
as some of them also tempted, 
and were destroyed of serpents.* 


9. Neither let us tempt ChrUi, Sec 
The word ten^, when iqyplied to man, 
means to pwsent motives or induce* 
ments to sin : when used with reference 
to God, it means to try his patience, to 
provoke his anger, or to act in such a 
way as to see how mudi he will bear, 
and how long he will endure the wick« 
edness and perverseness of men. Tha 
Israelites templed him, or tried his pO' 
tienee and forbearance, by rebelhon, 
murmuring, impatience, and dissatis- 
fection widi his dealings. In what 
way the Corinthians were in danger of 
tempting Christ is not known, and can 
only be conjectured. It may be that 
the apostle cautions them against ex* 
posing themselves to temptation in the 
idol temples — ^placing themselves, as it 
were, under the unhappy influence df 
idolatry, and thus needlessly trying the 
strength of their religion, and msldng 
an experiment on the grace of Christ, 
as if he were bound to keep them even 
in the midst of dangers into which they 
needlessly ran. T^y would have the 
promise of grace to keep them onhr 
when they were in the way of their 
duty, and using all proper precautions. 
To go beyond this, to place themselves 
in needless danger, to presume on thtt 
grace of Christ to keep them in all 
circumstances, would be to tenyvt him, 
and provoke him to leave them. See 
Note on Matt iv. 7. ^ As some of 
them also tempted. There is evidbntiy 
here a word to be understood, and it 
may be either « Christ" or '«God." 
The construction would naturally re* 
quire the former; but it is not certain 
that the apostle meant to say that the 
Israelites tempted Christ, The main 
idea is that <^ temptaiion, wheAer it 
be of Christ or of God ; and the purpose 
of the apostle is to caution them agabist 
the danger of tempting Christ, from the 
fact that the Israelites were guilty of 


[A. D. 6^. 

10 Neither murmur ye^ as 
some of them also murmured, ' 
and were destroyed of the de- 

a Num.142^. b 3Samii4.16. 

the sin of tempting their leader and 
protector, and thus exposing themselves 
to his anger. It cannot be denied, how- 
ever, that the more natural construction 
of this place is that which supposes that 
the word ** Christ" is understood here 
rather than " God." In order to relieve 
this interpretation from the dif&culty 
that the Israelites could not be said 
with any propriety to have tempted 
^ Christ^'' since he had not then come 
In the flesh, tpo remarks may be made. 
First, by the '< angel of the covenant,'' 
and tbt '* angel of his presence" (Ex. 
xxiii. 20. 23; xxxii. 36; xxxiii. 2. 
Num. XX. 16. Isa. Ixiii. 9. Heb. xi. 
26), that went with them, and delivered 
them from Egypt, there is reason to 
think the sacred writers understood the 
Messiah to be intended; and that he 
who subsequently became incarnate 
was hiin whom they tempted. And 
secondly. We are to bear in mind that 
the term Christ has acquired with 
us a signification somewhat difierent 
from that which it originally had in the 
New Testament We use it as a proper 
name, applied to Jesus of Nazareth. 
But it is to be remembered that it is 
the mere Greek word for the Hebrew 
*' Anointed," or the ''Messiah;" and by 
retaining this signification of the word 
here, no small part of the difficulty 
will be avoided; and the expression 
then will mean simply that the Israel- 
ites 'tempted the Messiah;' and the 
ideft will be that he who conducted 
th^m, and against whom they sinned, 
and whom they tempted, was the Mes- 
siah who afterwards became incarnate ; 
an idea that is in accordance with the 
ancient ideas of the Jews respecting 
this personage, and which is not forbid- 
den, certainly, in any part of the Bible. 
T And were destroyed of serpents. 
Fiery serpents. See Num. zxi. 6. 
10. Neither murmur ye. Do not 

11 Now all these things hi^ 
pened unto them for ^ ensara^ 
pies : and they are 'written for 
our admonition, upon whom 

1 or, typea. 

repine at the allotments of Providence, 
or compkun of his dealings. 1 As som€^ 
of them also murmured. Num. xiv. 2* 
The ground of their murmuring wav 
that they had been disappointed ; that 
they had been brought out of a land 
of plenty into a wilderness of want; 
and that instead of being conducted 
at once to the land of ^promise, 
they were left to perish in the deserts* 
They therefore complained gf their 
leaders, and proposed to return again 
into Egypt 1 And tvere destroyed of 
the destroyer^ That is, they were 
doomed to die in the wilderness with* 
out seeing the land- of Canaan. Ex. 
xiv. 29. * The " destroyer*' here is un- 
derstood by many to mean the angel 
of death, so often referred to in the Old 
Testament, and usually called by the 
Jews SammaeL The work of death, 
however, is attributed to an angel in 
Ex.xil23. Comp. Heb. xi. 28. It was 
customary for the Hebrews to regard 
most human events as under the Sec- 
tion of angels. In Heb. ii. 14, he is 
described as he ''that had the power 
of death.'.' Comp. the book of Wis- 
dom xviii. 22. 25... The simple idea 
here, however, is,- that they died for 
their sin, and were not permitted to 
«nter the promised land. 

11. For ensamples, Greek, Thfpes 
(ruirot^. The same word which is 
used m ver. 6. This verse \b a repe- 
tition of the admonition contained in 
that verse, in order to impress it more 
deeply on the memory. See Note on 
verse 6. The sense is, not that 
these things took place simply and 
solely to be examples, or admonitions, 
but that their occurrence illustrated 
great principles of human nature and 
of the divine government ; they, showed 
the weakness of men, and their liability 
to fidl into sin, and their need of the 
divine protection, and they might thus 

I IP wiTOi^HWW-T^r 



A.D. 39.] 



the ends of the world are come. 
12 Wherefore "* let him that 

a ?roT^14. Bom.I150. 

be used for the admonition of succeed- 
ing geaeraticmg. ^ 7%evare toritten 
far our admbmtion. They are re- 
corded in the writings of Moses, in 
order that we and all others might he 
admonished not to confide in our own 
strength. The admonition did not 
pertain merely to the Corinthians, but 
had an equtd applicability to Chris^ 
tians in all ages of the world. ^ Upon 
whom the ends of the world are come. 
This expression is equivalent to that 
which so often occurs in the Scriptures, 
as, "the last tune," "the latter day," 
&C. See it fully explained in Notes 
on Acts ii. 17. It means the last dis- 
pensation ; or, that period and mode of 
the divine administration under which 
the afiairs of the world would be wound 
Mp, There would be no mode of ad-^ 
ministration beyond that of the gospel. 
But it by no means denotes neces- 
sarily that the continuance of thb 
period called (* the last times," and " the 
ends of the world" would be brie^ or 
that the apostle believed that the world 
would soon come to an end. It might 
be the IcLBt period, and yet be longer 
than any one previous period, or than 
all .the previous periods pi^t together. 
There may be a last dynasty in an 
empire, and yet it may be longer than 
any previous dynasty, or than all the 
previous dynasties put together. The 
apostle Paul was at special pains \x^ 
'2Thes6. iL to show,' that by affimiing 
that the last time had come, he did not 
m^an that the worid would sion come 
to an -end. 

12. "Wherefore. As the result of all 
these admonitions^ Let this be~the 
effect of all that we learn from the un- 
happy self-confidence of the Jews, to 
admonish us not to put reliance on our 
own strengths t That thinketh he 
standeth. That supposes himself to 
be firm is the love of God, and in the 
knowledge of his truth; that vegaMs 
himself as secure, and that will be 
thevefore disposed to lely oa his own 

thinketh he standeth take heed 
lest he fall. 

strength, t Take heed lest he fidL 
Into sin, idolatry, or any other form of 
iniquity. We learn here, (1.) That a 
confidence in oxix own security is no 
evidence that we are safe. (2.) Such 
a confidence may be one of the strongs 
est evidences that we are in danger. 
Those are most' safe who feel that they 
are weak and feeble, and who feel their 
need of divine aid and strength. They 
will then rely on the true source dT 
strength; and they will be secure. 
(3.) All professed Christians should 
be admonished. All are in danger of 
falling into sin, and of dishonouring 
their profession; and the eiiiortatioxi/ 
cannot be too often 'or too u]^nt|y 
pressed, that they should take heed 
lest they fall into sin. The leading 
and special idea of the apostle here 
should not be forgotten or disregarded. 
It is, that Christians in their famured 
momentSf when they are permitted to 
approach near to Clod, and when the 
joys cf salvation fill their hearts, should 
exercise peculiar caution. For (a) Then 
the adversary will be peculiarly desirous 
to draw away their thoughts from God, 
and to lead them into sin, as their fall 
would most signally dishonour religion ; 
(b) Then they will be less likely to be 
on their guard, and more likely to feel 
diemselyes strong, and not to need cau- 
tion^ and solicitude. Accordingly, it 
often happens that Christians, after they 
have been peculiarly fiivoure^ with the 
tokens of the divine fevour, soon relapse 
into their former state, or fell into some 
sin that grieves the hearts of their bre* 
thren, or wounds the cause of religim. 
So it is in revivals ; so it is in indivi- 
duals. Churches that are thus favoured 
are filled with joy, and love,. and peace. 
Yet they become self-confident and 
elated; &ey lose their humility and 
their sense of their dependence ; they 
cease to-be watchful and prayerful, sup- 
posing that all is^safe; and the refll4t ' 
often is, that a season of revival is saA' ' 
ceeded by a time ^ ooldnesa end dd^ > 



[A. D. 59. 

13 There hath no temptation 
taken you but * such as is com- 

• OTi moderate. 

denaion. And thus, too, it is with 
individuals. Jiut the opposite eflcict is 
produced from what dioold be, and 
from what need be. Christians should 
then be peculiarly on their guard; and 
if they then availed themselves of their 
elevated advantages^ churches might be 
fiivonred with continued revivals and 
evergrowing piety; and individuals 
tnight be filled wiih joy, and peace, 
and holiness, and ever-expanding and 
increasing love. 

13. T%ere hath no temptation taken 
you* What temptation me i^MMtle rer 
wn to here is not quite certam. It is 
probable, however, that he refers to 
such as would, in their circumstances, 
have a tendencv to induce them to for- 
sake their allegiance to their Lord, and 
to lead them into idolatry and sin. 
These mig^t be either open perseeu- 
tions» or afflictions on account of their 
religion; or they might be the various 
allurements which were qmad around 
them from the prevaienoe of idolatry. 
They might be the <^»en attacks of their 
enemies, or the sneers and the derision 
of the gay and the great The design 
of the apoetle evidently is, to du>w them 
that, if they were fiuthftil, they had 
nothing to fear from any such forms 
of temptation, but that God waa able 
to bring them through them alL The 
sentiment in the verse is a very imports 
ant <»ie, since the general principle here 
stated is as applicable to Christians 
now as it was to the Corinthians. 
Y Thken you. Seiied upon you, or 
assailed you. As when an enemy 

Swepe us, and attempts td hold us 
It \ But eueh as is eommen to 
man (« ^ ia^Jam^). Such as is 
human. Margin, JMiNfera^e. The sense 
is evident It means sneh as human 
nature is liable to, and has been <4ten 
subjected to ; such as the human poweis^ 
under the divine aid, may be able to 
f of»t and lepeL The temptations 
>r$ich they had been subjected to were 
T^ such as w<Hild be fitisd to angelic 

mon to* man : but God is faith- 
ful, who • will not sqffer you to 


powers, and such as would require 
angelic strength to resist; but they 
were such as human nature had been 
often subjected to, and such as man 
had often contended with successfully* 
There is, therefore, here a recognition 
of the doctrine that man has natural 
ability to resist all the temptatioiui t» 
which he is subject; and that conse- 
quently, if he yields, he is answerable 
for it The dee^ of the apostle is tQ 
comlbrt the Cormthians, and to keep 
their minds trom despondency. He 
had portrayed thdr danger; he had 
shown them how others had fallen; 
and they might be led to suppose that 
in such circumstances they could not 
be secure. He therefore tells them 
that they might still be safe, for their 
temptations were such as human nature 
had often been subject to^ and Grod waa 
able to keep them from felling, t -B'*' ' 
Crod i» faithfuL This was the only 
source of security ; and this was enough. 
If they looked only to themselves, they 
would feU. If they depended on the 
feithfhlness of God, they would be 
secure. The sense is, not that God 
would keep them without any efibrt 
of their own ; not that he would secora 
them if they plunged into temptation ; 
but^hat if they useid the proper means, 
if they resisted temptati<te, and sought 
hie aid, and depended on his promises, 
then he would be feithftiL This is 
eveiywhere implied in the Scriptures ; 
and to depend on the feitbfrtlness of 
God, otherwise than in the proper use 
of means sad in avoiding the places 
of temptation, is to tempt him, and 
provoke him to wrath, aee Notes on 
Matt iv. Y Who wiil not suffer you 
to be tempted, &e. This is a general 
promise, just as applicable to all Chris- 
tians as it was tb the Corinthians. It 
implies, (1.) That all the circumstances^ 
causes, and agents that lead to temptsc 
tion are under the control of God* 
Every man that tempts another; eveiy 
feUen qpiiit that is engaged in 

A* D. 69.] 


be tempted aboye diat ye are 
Me ; • but will with the tempta- 


ereiy book, ptctare, place of amuse- 
ment ; every charm of music, and of 
flbng ; every piece of indecent statuary ; 
and every plan of business, of gain, or 
ambition, are all under the control of 
€fod. He can check them; he can 
control them ; he can paralyze their in- 
fluence ; he can destroy them. Comp. 
Matt vL 18. (2.) When men are 
tempted, it is because God tuffen 
or permits it. He does not himself 
tempt men (James i. 13) ; he does not 
infuse evil thoughts into the mind; 
he does not ereaie an object of tempta- 
tion to place in our way, but he suffers 
it to be placed there by others. When 
we are tempted, therefore, we are to 
Amember that it is because he guffers 
or permits it ; not because he does it 
Wb agency is that of sufiferaace, not 
of creation. We are to remember, too, 
that there is some good reason why it 
18 thus permitted ; and that it may be 
turned in some way to his glory, and 
to our advancement in virtue. (3.) 
There b a certain extent to which we 
are able to resist temptation. There is 
a Umit to our power. There is a point 
beyond which we are not abk to resist 
it. We have not the strength of angetis. 
(4.) That limit will, in all cases, be 
beyond the point to which we are 
templed. If not, there would be no 
flin in ^ling, any more than th^re 
18 sin in tlie oak when it b prostrated 
before the tempest (5.) If men fall 
into sin, under the power of temptation, 
they oiily are to blame. They have 
strenglh to resist all the temptations 
that assail them, and God has given 
, the assurance that no temptation shall 
occur which they shall not be able, by 
his aid, to resist In all instances, 
therefore, where mein &11 into sin ; in 
att the yielding to passion, to allure- 
ment, and to vice, man is to blame, 
and must be responsible to Grod. And 
this is especially true of Christians, 
who, whatever may be said of others^ 
cannot plead that there was not power 


tion also make a way to escape, 
that ye may be able to bear it* 


sufficient co meet the temptation, or to 
turn aside its power. ^ But will with 
the temptation, Aa He will, at the 
same time that he suffers the trial or 
temptation to befidl us, make a v^y of 
delivefance ; he will save us from being 
entirely overcome by it ^ That yt 
may be able to hear it Or that yon 
may be able to bear up Under it, oT 
endure it €}od knows what his people 
are abk to endure, and as he has entire 
control of all that can affect them, he 
will adapt all trials to their strength, 
and will enable them to bear all that is 
appointed to them. This is a general 
promise, and is as applicable to Other 
Christians as it was to the Corinthians. 
It was to them a positive promise, and 
to all in the same ctrcumBtances it may 
be regarded- as audi now. It may be 
used, therefore, (1.) As a ground of 
encouragement to those who are in 
temptati(m and trial. God knows what 
they are able to endure; and he will 
sustain them in their temptations. It 
matters not how severe &e trial; or 
how long it may be continued ; or-how 
much they may feel their own feeble- 
ness; yet He who has appointed the 
trial is abundantly able to uphold them. 
They may, therefore, repose their aD 
upon him, and trust to his sustaining 
grace. (3.) It may be used' as an 
argument, that none who are true 
Christiansy and who are thus trie^ 
shall ever foU away, and be lost The 
promise is positive and certain, that a 
way shall be made for their escape^ 
and they shall be able to bear it God 
is faithful to them; and tfiougfa he 
might suffer them to be tempted be- 
yond what they are able to bear^ yet 
he will not, but will secure an egress 
from all their trials. W^th this pro- 
mise in view, how can it be believed 
that any true Christians who are tomp^ 
ed will be suffered to fell away and 
perish 1 If they do. It must be fnm 
one of the following causes: either be* 
canse God is not feithfol; or becauee 

^ - 



lA. P. eftt. 

14 Wherefare, my deurly be- 
loved, * flee from idolatry. 

15 I speak as to wise mefi; 
judge ye what I say. 


1^ wiU suffer them to betempted above 
what the J an able to bear ; or becanee 
he wiU not make away for their esci^. 
Aa no Chriatiaii cam believe either of 
these, it follows that they who are con- 
wrted shall be kept vato salvation. 

I4k Wherejbre. In view^of the dan- 
gen and temptatioDs that beset you; 
m view ef your own feebleness, and the 
perils to which you wo«id be exposed 
in the idol temples, d^ Y Fke fiom 
idoiairy. Escape from the semca of 
i^ls; from the feasts celelNrated in 
henow of thrai; from the temples 
where they are worshipped. This was 
one of the dangers to which they were 
peettUai fy exposed ; and Paul therefore 
exhorts them to escape from eveiy thing 
that would have a tenden<sy to lead 
them into this sin. He had told them, 
indeed, that God was feitfaful; and yet 
bd did not expect Gk)d would keep ihem 
without any effi>rt of their own. He 
therafose exhorts them to flee from all 
approaches to it, and from all the cus- 
toms which would have a tendency to 
kad tlwm into idolatrous practices. He 
rstums, ther^ore, in this vene> to the- 
partioubur subject discussed in oh. via. 
-*4he propriety of paiteldng of the 
feaets in honour of idols; and shows 
tie danger which would follow such a 
piaeticQ. That danger he sets f<»th in 
liew of the admonilione eontaiaed in 
thia chapter, from ver. 1 to ver. 13. 
The remsonder ef the chapter is occu* 
pied with a disoassion of the question 
stated in ch. viiL, whether it was right 
§at them to pwrtdce of the meat w|idch 
was used in the feasts of idolatorsi 

16. I itpeah.aa to wke men, dec 
I speak to men ^aahfied to understand 
the subject ; and present rflaaofw which 
«ill oomraend^^themaelvee to you. The 
ipaeons refenod to me those which oo- 
etqvy die remahader of the ehapter* 
«. Tke cuptf Uming iMck we 

l6 The eup of blessiaf whidi 
we bless, is -it not the commu- 
Rion of the blood of Christ ? the 
bread which we break, is it not 

hleas. The design of this verse and tbi| 
following verses seems to be, to prove 
that Christians, by partaking of th# 
Lord's supper, are solemnly set apart 
to the service of the Lord Jesus; thai! 
they acknowledge him as their Lord,and^ 
dedicate themselves to him; and that 
as they could not and oug^t not to be 
devoted to idols and to the Lord iesos 
at the same time, so they ought not to 
participate in the feasts in honour of 
idols, or in the celebrations in which 
idoIatOB would be cmgaged. See ver. 
21. lie states, therefore, (1.) That 
Christians are unked and dedicated ia 
Christ in the communion, ver. 16, 17. 
(3.) That this was true of the Israelitei|^ 
that they were one people, devoted by 
the service of the altar to the same God. 
ver. 18. (3.) That though an idol was 
nothing, yet the heathen actually sacri* 
freed to devils, and Christians ougli^. 
not to partake with them. ver. 19 — ^21. 
The phrase ** cup of blessing" evidently 
refers to the wine used in the celebnK 
tion of the Lord's sai^r. It is called 
«the cup of blessing" because ovar it 
Christians praise or bless God for hi» 
mercy in proyiding r^^emption. . It ia. 
not because it b the means of convey* 
ing a blessing to the souls of those whe. 
partake of it--thoug^ that is true^-hot 
because thanksgiviag, blessing, and 
praise were rendered to God in die ce> 
lebration, for the benefits of redemptioa. 
See Note, Matt xxvi. 26. Or it may 
mean, in accordance with a well known 
Hebraism, the bJeeeed eup ; the cup that 
is blessed. This is the more literal 
interpretatian ; and it is adopted biy 
Calvin, Beia, Doddridge, and othenb 
1 Which we bleae, Qrotius, Macknigh^ 
Vatablus, Bloomifield, and many of the 
Falhers suppose that this ineans^ 'cfvaf. 
which we bless God ;' or, * for wbichwa 
bless God.' But this is to do violeooe 
tothepaanga. The more o^ivious liiy 

A.I>. C9.} 

Ibe commnnioii of the body of 

r7 For we, being maoy, sre 

ia, that Iheze ii m miim tn 
lAidi il Du; In nid ihtt the cnp ia 
Heaed, and IhU In pnjrer and praue 
H b Nt apart and midcrvd in aome 
aaniB ncied to thepiBpoMi of rdigion.- 
ft cannot mean that the cnp ha* nnder- 
giaw anj phjrical change, or that &e 
wine ii any ^ing but wine; bat that h 
hu been H)leiDt)lj wt apart to the ler- 
i*ice of religion, and by prayer and praiw 
daatgnaled to be nacd for die paipose 
of eommemirrating the SaTioDra love. 
That may be aaid to be bleeeed which 
i* eet apart to a «u9ed uie (0«n. i). 3. 
Wx. XX. 11^; and in thia aense the cap 
nay be Baid to be blcued. See Luke 
it. IS, "And he took the Are loavei 
and the two- fiehea, and iooliins np to 
hearen, be Ueaaed tbek," &c Camp. 
Gen. liv, 9 ; iivii, S3. 38. 41 ; iiTiii. 
1. Ler. ii. 23, 23. SSam. n. \S. 
1 Smp liii. 11. 1 & il not A* eoro- 
mwtfcn a/ Ac blood of Chritl ? Ia it 
not (he enibtem by wbich the Mood of 
ObaA ia exhibited, and the mesiu by 
which ODT nnioD through that Uood ia 
•zhibitedt Ii it not the mesna by 
wbich we expreae out attachment to 
Um aa Chriatiana ; ahowing onr anion 
to him and to each other ; and ahoning 
dtat we partake in common of the bene- 
81a of ho bbwd t The main idea ia, 
Out by wtdting of thii cup tiny 
Aiywed that they were nnited to him 
and to each other ; and that they ahould 
tegard themaeWea aa aet apart to him. 
Ws have Gommnnion with one (maimtt, 
that which is in eomman, that which 
penaina to all, that which ETineei fel- 
WWahip) when we partake together} 
when ail have an eqoal right, and all 
dure alike ; when the same beneflla or 
the same ohiigationa ere eitended to all. 
And the senae here ia, that Ghriadnna 
pmialct niUit in the benefits of Ae 
Nood of Chiiat; tbey ahara the nme 
Me wi nga; and tbey expreu tlua togs- 
Atr, and in eMUOti, whan Ibey pai> 


one bread, and one body ; for we 

are all puiakefS of Itiat one t»BBd. 

IS Behold Israel after ■ die 


take of the commnnion. ^ T%e brtad, 
dec. In the commmiica. It Aowe, 
Mnoe wean paitakeof lt,that weahan 
alike in Iha benefilairiuch are imparted 
L ^ ^ taoken body at Hko 

of idola, that they would be regarded aa 
partaking with them in the aerrioea of 
idole, or aa united to them, and ihOT^bn 
anch pBiticipHtion wa> improper. 
IT. For me. We Chriatiana. 1 Be- 
^ Toan^. Gr. Tht many (a mtMn, 
le idea b not, aa oar ttanriation wonU 
mi to indiode, that Chriatiana wen 
jaerona, but llrat aU (for si nuc/ u 
here evidently uaed in the aenae of 
jrsirnt, aS) were united, and eonalilDted 
one aociety. 1 Are one bread. One 
loaf; one cake. That ia, we are united, 
or ate one. There u «*idem allnuoa' 
here to the fiict that the loaf or cake 
waa eompaaed of maivf aepaiate graina 
of wheat, or portioui of door imited in 
one ; or, that aa one loaf waa broken and 
partaken by all, il waa implied that they 
were all one. We are aU one aoeie^ ; 
united aa one, and for the lame abjecL 
Our partaking of the aame bread ia an 
emblem of the &ct that we are one:. 
In almost all nationa the act of eating 
logettier haa been regarded aa a aymllKA 
of uiiity or friendship. ^ And one body, 
" society i united together. 1 For 
... jre ttJI partaken, dec And wa 
dlna ahow pobliely that We are qnilad, 
and belong to the aame great family. 
Thn argument ii, that if we partake of 
the feaata in honour ef idola with their 
worahippers, we shall thus idiow thtf . 
we are a part of their aociety. 

18. Behold braeL Look at be Jewa. 
The design here is to ilhistrate the aen- 
timent which be waa eatabliAing, by a 
reference to die &ct that among the 
Jewa those who partook of the same 
" "** I legarded aa being ob« 



[A. D. 59. 

flesh : * are not they which eat 
of the sacrificesr parUdLers of the 

What say I then? that the 


people, and aa worshipping one God. 
00, if they partook of the sacrifices 
o^red to idols, they would be regarded 
also as being fellow worshippers of idols 
with them. Y -After the Jleah. See 
Bom. iv. 1. The phrase << after the 
flesh" is designed to denote the Jews 
who were not converted to Christianity ; 
the natural descendants of Israel, or 
Jacob. Y Are not they which eat of 
ihe saer^ces. A portion of the sacri- 
fices o£»red to God was eaten by the 
offerer, and another portion by the 
priests. Some portions of the animal, 
as the fat, were burnt ; • and the remain- 
der, unless it was a holocaust, or whole 
bumt-ofikring, was then the property of 
the priests who had officiated, or of the 
persons who had brought it. Ex. xxix. 
13. 22. Lev. iii. 4. 10. 15 ; iv. 9 ; vii. 3, 
4 ; viii. 26. The right shoulder and the 
breast was the part which was assigned 
to the priests; the remainder belonged 
to the ofibrer. ^ Partakers of the 
altar. Worshippers of the same God. 
They are united in their worahip, and 
are so regarded. And in like manner, 
if you partake of the sacrifices offered 
to idols, and join with their worship- 
pers in their temples, you will be justly 
regarded as united with them in their 
worship, and partaking with them in 
their aLominadons. 

19. What say I then? This is in 
die present tense ; *ri Zvf ^/Ah what do I 
sayl What is my meaning 1 What fol- 
lows from this 1 Do I mean to say that 
an idol is any thing 1 that it has a real 
existence % Does my reasoning lead to 
that conclusion ; and am I to be under- 
stood as affirming that an idol is of 
itself of any consequence 1 It must be 
recollected that the Corinthian Chris- 
tians are introduced by Paul (ch. viiL 
4^ as saying that they knew that an 
tool was nothing in the world. Paul 
did not directh^ contradict that; but his 

idol ^ is any thing ? or^hat which 
is offered in sacrifice to idols is 
any thing ? ^ 

20 But / iay, that thd things 

reasoning had led him to the necessi^ 
of calling the propriety of their attend* 
ing on the feasts of Mdols in question ; 
and he introduces tlie matter now by 
asking these questions, thus leading th^ 
mind to it rather than directly affirming 
it at once. * Am I in this reasoning to 
be understood as affirming that an idol 
is any thing, or that the meat there 
offered differs from other meat 1 No ; 
you know, says Paul, that this is not 
my meaning, I admit that an idol in 
itself is nothing : but I do not admit, 
therefore, that it is right for you to 
attend in their temples; for though the 
idol itself — ^the block of wood or stone— 
is nothing, yet the offerings are really 
made to devils ; and I would not have 
you engage in such a service.' ver. 20, 
21. \ That the idol is any ihin/g? 
That the block of wood or stone is ft 
real lying object of worship, to be 
dreaded or loved ? See Note, ^ viiL 4. 
5 Or that which is offered in sacrifice 
to idols is any thing? Or that the 
meat which is offered differs from that 
which is not o£Eered ; that the mere act 
of offering it changes its qualities 1 I do 
not admit or suppose this. 

20. But, The negative here is omit- 
ted, but is understood. The ellipsis of 
a negative after an interrogative sen- 
tence is common in the classical writera 
as well as in the Scriptures. Bloomfield* 
The sense is, * No ; I do not say thiSf 
but I say that there are reasons why 
you should not partake of those sacri- 
fices ; and one of those reasons is, that 
they have been really offered to devils.' 
5 i%ey sacrifice to devils (ifUfjLovUict 
demons). The heathens used the word 
demon either in a good or a bad sense. 
They applied it commonly to spirit! 
that were supposed to be inferior to tl^e 
supreme God ; genii; attending spirita; 
or, as they called them, divinities, or 
gods. A part were in their view good. 

A. D. 59.] 


which the Gentiles sacrifice, they 
sacrifice to derils, * and not to 
God: and I would not that ye 

a LeT.17.7. Deut^ir. Fb.106^. , 

and a part erO. Socrates rapposed that 
sodi a demon or genius attended him, 
who suggested good thoughts to him, 
and who was his protector. As these 
beings were good and well' disposed, 
it was not supposed to be necessary to 
ofler any sacrifices in order to appease 
diem. But a large portion of those genii 
were supposed to be eTil and widied, 
and heiice the necessity of attempting 
to appease their wrath by sacrifices and 
bloody ofierings. It was therefore true, 
as the apostle says, that the sacrifices 
of the heathen were made, usually at 
least, to devils or to e^ spirits. Mauy 
of these spirits were supposed to be the 
souls of departed men, who were entitled 
to worship after death, having been 
enrolled among the gods. The word 
** demons," among the Jews, was em- 
ployed only to designate evil beings. 
It is not applied in their writings to 
good angels or to blessed spirits, but 
to evil angels, to idols, to false gods. 
Thus in die LXX. the word is used to 
translate o*h^hHjEKUm, idols (Ps.xcv. 
5. Isa. Ixv. 10) ; and *iv, Skaid, as in 
Deut xxxii. 17, in a passage which 
Paul has here almost literally used, 
^They sacrificed unto devils, not -to 
God.** Nowhere in the Septuagtut 
18 it used in a good sense. In the 
"New Testament tiie word is uniformly 
used also to denote evil tpirits, and 
those usually which had taken pos- 
session of men in the time of the 
Saviour. Matt viL 22 ; ix. 33, 34 ; x. 
8 ; xi. 18. Mark I 34. 39, etalii. See 
also Campbell on die Groepels, Pre. Diss, 
vi. part i. § 14—16. ' The precise force 
of die original is not, however, conveyed 
l^ our translation. It is not true that 
the heathens saerificed to detnbf in the 
common and popular sense of that 
word, meaning th^rri)^ the apostate 
angel and the spirifilr 'tinder his direc- 
tion ; for the heatfaeas were as ignorant 
of tlieir existence aa they were of the 
i 18* 

should have fellowship with d^ 
vils. *^ 
21 Ye cannot drink the cop 

true God; and it is not true tkat duy 
dtMgned to wonh^ such beings. But 
it is true, (1.) That they did not wot^ 
ship the supreme and the true God* 
They were not acquainted with hii 
existence; and they doA not preftss to 
adore him. (2.) They woiahipped di^ 
rrvohs; beings that they regmided as 
inferior to the true Ood ; created spirit^ 
or the spirits of men that had been 
enrolled among tlie number of the godi^. 
(3.) It was true that many of tfaass 
beings were supposed to be malign and 
evil in their nature, and that thdlr wosb 
ship was designed to deprecate tlieir 
wrath. So that, although ah idol was 
nothing in itself, the gold or wood of 
which it was made was inanimate, and 
incapable of ai(fing or injuring then ; 
and although there were no real beings 
such as the heathens suppo sed ' ns 
gemi or ini^or gods; yet they dB- 
signed to ofier sacnfioe to such beings^ 
and to deprecate their wrath. To joni 
them in this, therefore. Would be ts 
express the belief thai there were simIl 
beings, and that they ought to be wo^ 
shipped, and that their wrath should be 
deprecated. \ I would not that yt 
should hcBoe fdhwskip with devibf. I 
would not that yon should have esfSh 
munion with demons. I would nst 
have you express a belief of their ex- 
istence ; or join in worship to theoi ; 
or partake of the spirit by which tfaey 
are supposed to be actuated— « spmt 
that woald be promoted by attendanee 
on their worship. I would not have 
you, therefore, joiti in a mode of wor- 
ship where such beings are acknow- 
ledged. You are solemnly dedicated fo 
Christ; and the homage due to him 
should not be divided with homage 
offered to devils, or to imaginasy 

21. Te cannot dtink the eupof ike 
Lord, Stc This does not mean that 
they had no physical Ability to do Hbk, 



[A. D. 69. 

of the Lordy and the cup * of 

devils : ye cannot he partakers 
of the Lord's table, and of the 
table of devils. 

or that it was a natural impooiibUity; 
&r they certainly had power to do it 
Bnt it must mean that they could not 
eonsistenthf do it It was not fit, pro- 
per^ decent They, wera sdemnly bound 
to serve and obey Christ : they had de- 
voted themselves to him 2 and they 
eould not, consfstently with these obli- 
gations, j(Hn in the worship of demons. 
This is a striking instance in which 
the woid cannot is used to denote not 
natural but moral inability. 5 '^^ t^ 
cup of devib. Demons, ver. 20. In 
the feasts in honour of the gods, wine 
was poured out as a libation, or drank 
by the worshippers. See Viig. ^n. viii 
S73. The custom of drinking ioaatg at 
feasts and celebrations arose from this 
practice of pouring out wine, or drink- 
ing in honour of the heathen gods ; and 
IS a practice that partakes still of the 
nature of heathenism. It was one of 
the abominations of heathenism to sup- 
pose that their gods would be pleased 
with the intoxicating draught Such a 
pmiring out of a lUwtion was usually 
accompanied with a prayer to the idol 
god, that he would accept the offering ; 
that he would be propitious ; and tluit 
be would grant the desire of the wor- 
shipper. From thai custom the habit 
of expressing a sentiment, or proposing 
a toast, utt^ed in drinking wine, has 
been derived. The toast or sentiment 
which now usually accompanies the 
drinking of a glass in this manner, if it 
mean any thing, is now also a prayer : 
but to whom 1 to the god of wine 1 to 
a heathen deity 1 Can it be supposed 
that it Ib a prayer offered to tb^ true 
God^ the God of purify 1 Has Jeho- 
vidi directed that prayer should be 
offered to him in sudi a inanner 1 Can 
it be acceptable to himi Either the 
•entiment is unmeaning, or it is a 
prayer offered to a heathen god, or it is 
mockery of Jsbovjlb ; and in either 
case it is improper and wicked. And 

22 Do we * provoke the Lord 
to jealousy? are we stronger 
than he ? 

a Deut.32.38. 

&I)eat.32.21. Job 9.4. Ezek. 

it may as truly be said now of Chris- 
tians as in the time of Paul, * Ye can- 
not consistently drink the cup of thQ 
Lord at the communion table, and the 
cup whare a pbatek is offered to a 
fSsdse god, or to the dead, or to the air.; 
or when, if it means any thing,^ it is a 
mockery of Jehovah.' Now can a 
Christian with any more consistency 
or propriety join in such celebrations, 
and in such unmeaning or profane 
libations, than he could go into the 
temple of an idol, and partake of the 
idolatrous celejbrations there 1 \ And 
of the table of devib. Demons. It is 
not needful to the force, of this that we 
should suppose that the word means 
necessarily evil spirits. They were not 
God ; and to worship them was idola- 
try. The apostle means that Christians 
could not consistently join in the wor* 
ship that was offered to them, or in tha 
feasts celebrated in honour of them. 

22. Do we provoke the Lord to 
Jealousy ? That is, shall we, by loin- 
ing in the worship of i<^o]a, provoke ct 
irritate Grod, or excite him to anger t 
This is evidently the meaning of the 
word ^«^(X^»x«()/aK, -rendered ** provoke 
to jealousy." The Word Mjp, usually 
rendered hj this word by the LXX., hae 
this sense in Deut xxxii. 21. 1 Kings 
xiv. 22. £zm viiL 3. Ps. Ixxviii. 58. 
There is a reference here, doubtless, to 
the truth recorded in Ex. xx. 5, (hat 
God <* is a jealous God," and that he 
regards the worship of idols as a direct 
affiont to himsell The sentiment of 
Paul is, that to join in the worship of 
idols, or in the observance of their feasts, 
would be to participate in that which 
had ever been regarded by God with 
peculiar abhorrence, and which mora 
than any thing else tended to provoke 
his wrath. We may observe, Uiat any 
course of life that tends to alienate the 
affections from Grod, and to fix them on 
other beings or objects, is a sin of the 




^3 All « things are lawful fdr 
me, but all ihings are not expe*> 
dient: all things are lawful for 

\ I . — — — ^ 

ntM kind as that refenred to here. Any 
inoFdmate lo^e of fneadSf of proper^, 
of honour, has substantia^y die same 
idolatrous natnire, and will tend to pn>< 
voke him to anger. And it miqr be 
•deed of Christians now, whether they 
will by such inor^nate attachments 
pKovoke the Lord to wrath 1 whether 
they will thus excite liis displeasure, 
and expose themselves to his indigna- 
tion? Yeiy often Christians do thus 
provoke him. They become unduly 
attached to a friend, or to wealth, and 
Qod in anger takes away that inend by 
death, or that property by the flames : 
or^ they conform to the world, and min- 
gle in its scenes of fiishion and gayety, 
and forget Gk>d; and in displeasure he 
virits them with judgments, humbles 
them, and recalls them to himself. 
5 Are we stronger than he? This is 
given as a reason why we should not 
provoke his displeasure. We cannot 
contend successfully with him ; and it 
is therefore oiiadness and folly to con- 
tend with God, or to expose ourselves 
to the ^fects of his indignation. 

23. AM thinp are lawful for me. 
See J^Q^j ch. vi. 12. This is a.repeti- 
tion of what he had said before ; and it 
is here applied to the subject of eating 
Che meattiiat had been ofered to idol& 
The sense is, 'Though it may be ad- 
mitted that it was striotly kavful to 
partake of that meat, yet there were 
strong reasons why it was inexpedient ; 
and those reasons ought to have the 
binding force of law.' 5 All things 
edify not. All things do not tend to 
build up the church, and to advance 
the interests of religion ; and when they 
do not have this effect, they are not ex- 
pedient, and are improper. Paul acted 
for the wei&re of 'the church. His 
object was to save souls. Any thing 
diat would promote that object was 
proper ; any thing which would hinder 
it^ though in itMlf it might not be 

me, htit all things edify not^ ^ 
24 Let* no man seek his own, 
but every man another's wealth 



strictly milawful, was in his view u% 
proper. This is a simple rule, .a|94 
might be easily applied by all. If a 
man. has his heart on the conver«i<m of 
men and the salv^ition of the world, it 
will go fiur to reg .kte his conduct in 
reference to many things concerning 
which there may be no exact and posi- 
tive law. It will do much to regulate 
his dress; his style of living; bis ex* 
penses; his entertainments; his mode 
of intercourse with the world. He 
may not be able to fix his finger on 
any positive law, and to say that this 
or that article c^ dress is improper; 
that this or that piece of furniture is 
absolutely forbidden; or that this or 
that manner of life is ooi^trary to any 
explicit law of Jbhotah ; but he ni$iy 
see that it will interfere with his great 
and main purpose, ia do good on the 
widest soak possible / and thsasvokb 
to him it will be inexpedient and im- 
proper. Such a grand leading pur- 
pose is a much better guide to direct a 
man's life than would be exact positive 
statutes to regulate every thing, even if 
sudi minute statutes were possihle. 

24. Let no man seek his own. This 
should be properly interpreted of the 
matter under discussion, though the 
direction assumes the form of a general 
principle. Originally it meant, * Let no 
man, in regard to the question about 
partaking of the meat offered in sacri- 
fice to idols, consult his own pleasure, 
happiness, or convenience ; but let him, 
as the leading rule on the subject, ask 
what will be for the welfere of others. 
Let him not gratify his own taste and 
inclinations, regardless of their feelings, 
comfort, and salvation ; but let him in 
these things havd a primary reference 
to their welfere.' He may dispense 
with these things wiUiout danger or 
injury; he cannot indulge in them 
without endangering the happiness or 
purity of othera. His duty therefore 


M lUliaftioevar'iftsoldintlie 

feqniies him to abttain. The injano- 
tloii, however, has a general fonn; and 
ii appticaUe to allX/hiiatiaiM, and to all 
cans of a HmUar kind. It doea not 
nean diat a man is not In any inatanee 
to regard hie own welfive, happineaa, or 
salvation ; it does no^ mean diat a man 
owes no duty to hr itself or fiunily ; or 
that he should neglect aU these to ad- 
vance the welfare of othen: but the 
precept means, that in cases Uke 
that under eonndaraHonj when there 
is no positive law, and when a manVi 
example would have a great kiihienoe, 
he should be guided in his conduct, not 
by a reference to his own ease, comfort, 
or gratification, bnt by a rriiHrence to 
die purity and salvation <^ others. An^ 
the observance of this simple rule would 
make a prodigious change in the churdi 
and the world. \ But every man cav- 
oiher^a wealth. The word weatth is 
not in the Ghreek. Literally, 'that 
which is of another f the word *th re- 
• referring to any thing and every thing 
that pertains to his comfort, uselulness, 
happiness, or salvation.— The sentiment 
of the whole is, when a man is hound 
and directed by no positive law, his 
grand rule should be the eomfort and 
salvation of others. This is a simple 
mle; it might be eadly applied; and 
this would be a sort of balance-wheel 
in the various actions and plans of the 
world. If every man would adopt this 
rule, he could not be in much danger of 
going wrong; he would be oeirlain that 
he would not live in vain. 

26. Whatsoetfer is sold in the sham^ 
hies. In the market The meat of ani- 
mals offered in sacrifice would be ezpoe- 
ad there to sale as well as other meat 
The apostle sa3rs that it might be pur- 
diaaed, since the mere fact that it had 
been offered in sacrifice could not 
dbange its quality, or render it unfit 
fcr use. They were to abstain from 
"Bttending on the feasts of the idols in 
the temple, from partaking of meat that 
had been ofiered them, and firmn oele- 

[A. D; 5f» 

shftmMeg; thai eat, atkinf no 
quegtion for eonscienoe' aake* . 

brations observed expressly in honeur 
of idols; but lest they should beeomar 
too scr^pidoai, the apostle teUs tfaMU 
that if the meat was ofiand iadiserani- 
natriy in the, market with other meat» 
they were not to hesitate to puichase it^ 
or eat it ^ Asking no question far 
eonsdenee* sake, Not hesitating ^ 
doabtiBg, as if it might possibly haw 
been oflfeied i» sacnfice^. Not beiBg 
serapulotts, as if it were possible that 
the coi^ience should be defiled. This 
is a good rule stili, and may be applied 
to a great many things. But, ( !•) That 
which is purchased should be in itself 
lawfid and right II would not be pro* 
per for a man to use ardent spirits «t 
any other intoxicating drii^ becanse 
they were ofi^red^for sale, any mora 
than it would be to commit suidda 
because men oflered pistols, laid bowie* 
knives, and halters to seU. (3.) Thera 
are many things now concerning whidi 
similar questions may be aSked ; a8,-e. g, 
is it right to use tiie productiona ef 
riave-labonr, the sugar, cotton, dbe. that 
are the price of bkiod ? Is it right to 
use that which is known to be made on 
the Sabbath ; or that whidi it Is known 
a man has made by a life of dishonesty 
and crime ? The consciences of many 
persons are tender on all such questions; 
and the questions are not si easy aolib 
tion. Smne rules may perhaps be sng^ 
gested arising from the case before vol 
(a) If the article is exposed indiscruni* 
nately with others in the market, if it 
be in' itself lawful, if there is no ready 
mark of distmction, then the aposlia 
would direct us not to hesitate, (b) If 
the use ,and purchase of the articia 
would go directly and knowingly to 
eoontenance the existence of slaveiy^ 
to encourage a breach of the Sahbati^^ 
or to the continuance of a course oi 
dishonest living, then it would seem 
equally clear ilutt it ii not right to pui^ 
chase or to use it If a man abboia 
slavery, and Sabbath-breaking, and die* 
honesty, timi how can he knowing^ 

A.D. 59.] 



26 For'theeartlitathffLoid's; 
and the fulness thereof. 

27 If any of them, that believe 
not bid you to a feast ^ and ye foe 

a Deut-IO.H. TbSI/LI', 60.12. 

partake of that which goes to patronise . 
and extend these abominations 1 (t) If 
tlie article is expressly pmnted oat to 
him as an article that has been made 
in this manneiv and his partaking of it 
will be construed into a participation 
of the crime, then he ought to abstain. 
Sea ver. 28. No man is at liberty to 
patronise slavery, Sabbath-breaking, dis- 
honesty, or licentiousness in any form. 
Every man eon live without doing it ; 
and where it can be done it should be 
done. And perhaps there will be no 
other way of breaiong up many of the 
crimes and crjoelties of the earth than 
lor good men to act conscientiously, and 
to refuse to partake of the avails of sin, 
and of gain that results from oppression 

26. For the earth is the Lord*s, 
This is quoted from Ps. xxiv. 1. The 
same sentiment ia also found in Ps. 1. 
1 1 , and'in Baut. x. 14. It is here urged 
as a reason why it is right to partake 
of the meat offend in market It all 
belongs to the Lord. It does not reaily 
belong to the idol, even though it has 
been offered to it It may, therefore, 
b« partaken of as his gift, and should 
be received with gratitude. ^ And the 
fuhess thereof. All that the earth 
produces belongs to him. He causes it 
to grow; and he has given it to be 
food for man ; and though it may have 
been devoted to an idol, yet its nature 
ia not changed. It is still the gift of 
God ; still the production of his hand ; 
still the fruit of his goodness and 

27. Ifanycf them that befieve not. 
That are not Cfhristiana; that are still 
heathens. 5 Bid you to a feast Evi- 
dently not a feast in the temple of an 
idol, but at his own house. If he ask 
you to partake of his hospitality. ^And 
ye be Aepoaed to go, Greek, * And you 
will to go.' It ia evidently implied here 

disposed to go ; whatsoeYer ^ ia 
s<^.before you, eat, asking no 
question for conscience' sake. 
28 But if any man say unto 

* Luke 10.7. 

that it would be not improper to goi» 
The Saviour accepted audi invitationa 
to dine with the Phariaeea (see Note^ 
Luke XL 37) ; and Christianity ia not 
deaigned to abolish the courtesiee of 
social life; or to break the bonda of 
intercourse; or to make men miaan- 
thropes or hermits. It allows and cultH 
vates, under proper GhristiaB restraints, 
the intercourse in society which wiU 
promote the comfort of men, and esp^ 
dally that which may extend die uafr> 
fulness of Christians. It does not ro> 
qaire,therefore,that we should withdraw 
from sodal life, or regard as improper 
the courtesies of society. See Note on 
ch.v. 10, ^ Whatever u set before yoUf 
Sec. Whether it has been <»Eered in 
sacrifice or not; for so the connexion 
requires us to understand it 5 E^* 
This should be interpreted strictly. 
The aposUe says « eat," not « drink/' 
and the prindple wfll not authorize vm 
to drink whatever ia set before us, ask- 
ing no questions for conscience' sako; 
for while it was a matter of indiSerenoe 
in regard to eating, whether the meat 
had been sacrificed to idob or not, it ia 
not a matter of indifterenee whether a 
man may drink intoxicating liquor. 
That is a point on whidi the eonsdenee 
should have much to do ; anid on which 
its honest decisions, and the will of the 
Lord, should be feithfully and honestly 

28. But if any man. If any fellow 
guest ; any scrupulous fellow Christian 
who may be present That the word 
<<any" Otk) refers to a fellow guest 
seems evident; for it ia pot probable 
that the host would point out any part 
of the food on his own table, of the 
lawfulneas of eating which he would 
suppose there was any doubt Yet 
there might be present some scrupulous 
fellow Christian who would have strong 
doubts of the propriety of partaking of 




jon, Thk IB ofi<Ared in sseiifioe 
Qttto idols, eat tiot, * for his sake 
thsC showed it, and for con- 
sdeiictt' ntke : for * the earth 

a c.8.10.13. » ¥«rJi6. 

that IM, and who would indieata it to 
the other gnesta. 5 For hU sake ^ai 
dunoed it» Do not oflend him; do not 
laad him into em; do not pain and 
wound his feelmgs. 5 -^^ fir eon- 
tekne^ sake. Eat not, out of respect 
to tiie conscientiooB seraplas of him 
that told thee that it had heen oflfered 
to id<^8. The fford eon$tienee refers 
to the eoascience of the inlbrmer (ver. 
S9} ; still he should make it a matter 
of eonscienoe not to wound his weak 
biathren, or lead them into sin. 5 For 
the earth U the LonPe, dbc See ^er. 
96. These words are wanting in many 
Md8. (see Mill's 6r. Tes.}, and in the 
Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Arsbic 
iWHEfons ; and are omitted by Griesbach. 
Grotlus says that they should be omit- 
ted. There might easily- haTe been a 
mistake in transcribing them from ver. 
S6b The authority of the M88., how- 
efar, is m fiivour of retaining them ; 
and they are quoted by the Greek ia- 
tbers add commentators, tf they are to 
be reined, they are to be interpreted, 
probably, in this sense ; * There is no 
neeeeaity that you shmild partake' of 
tins food. An things belong to God ; 
and he has aaade ample provision for 
your wants without subfeeting you to 
the necessity of eating tUs. S^ce this 
ia the ease, it is best to ragaid the 
aemples of those who have doubts of 
the propriety of eating Mis food, and to 

29; Om9eienee,JBaVfn€ttthiHeoum» 
I know tfiat you may have no scruples 
on the subject I do not mean that 
with you this need be a matier of eon- 
scienoe. I do not put it on ^t ground, 
as if an idol were any thing, oras if it 
trere in itself wrong, or as if the quality 
of the meat so offefred had been chang- 
ed ; but I put it on the ground of not 
wounding the feelinga of those who are 

is the Lord*s, sad the fblness 

20 Conscience, I say, not 
diine own, but of Ihe ether: fet 


serupulons, or of leading tfiem into sin. 
Y For why U my Uberiy, dee. There 
is much difficulty in this clause ; for aa 
it now stands, it seems to be entirely 
oozltradictoryto what the apostle had 
been saying. He had been urging 
them to htwe respect to odier men's 
consciences, and in some sense to give 
up their liberty to their opinions and 
feelings. Madcnigfat and some others 
understand it as an objection r <Per« 
haps you will say. But why is my 
liberty to be ruled by another man's 
conscience?' Doddridge supposes that 
this and Ter. 86 come in as a kind of 
parenthesis, to prevent their extending 
his former caution beyond what 1m 
designed. ** I speak only of ads Obvi- 
ous to numan observation; for as to 
what immediately lies between God an4 
my own soul, why is my liberty to be 
judged, arraigned, cendemned at the 
bar of another man's consdenoe 1'* 
But it is probable that this is not aa 
objection. The sense may be thuA ex- 
pressed ; <I am free; I have Uberty to 
partake of that food, if I please ; mere 
is no lanD against H, and it lis not 
morally wrong : but if I do, when it ia 
pointed out to me as having bees 
sacrificed to idols, my libeity— the right 
which I exer cise v rill .be mieeoruiruedf 
misjudged, condemned (for so the word 
M^/rtnu -seems to be used here) by 
othen. The weak and scmpuloiia 
believer will censure, judge, con<iemii 
me as regardless of what iA proper, and 
as disposed to foil in with the customs 
ci idolaters; and will suppose that I 
cannot have a good conscience. Under 
these circumstances, why should I act 
so as to expose myself to this censure 
and condemnation 1 It is better for ma 
to abstain, and not to use this liberty 
in the case, but to deny myself for tlie 
sakeof oiheia.' 

A. D. 59.] 



ivliy is my liberty judged of an- 
other man^s conscience ? 

30 For if I by ^ grace be a 
partaker^ why am I e.ynk spoken of 

*- or, Vkmle9sMng. 

80. For if I hy grace be a partaker. 
Or nther, ^ If I partcike by graod ; if 
\if tke grace and xBercy of 6od» I have 
ft rtg'A^ to partake of thia ; yet why 
flfaonld I fM» conduct as to expose myadf 
to the reproadies and eTtl sunnises of 
others % Why d^onld.I lay myself opm 
to be blamed on the subject of eating, 
wh«i there are so many bounties oi 
l^videnoe for which I msy be than|[- 
foiXy and which I may partake of without 
doing injury, or exposing myself in vpf 
manner to be Uamcd 1' ^ V^ ann 1 
etil spoken of. Why should I pufsoe- 
Boch a course as to expose myself to 
blame or censure] 5 ^or thai for 
Ufkkh I give thanks. For my fiied. 
The phrase ** for which I give thanks'' 
asems to be a periphra«s for food, or 
for that of which he partook to nourish 
1S&, It is implied that he always gave 
thanks for his food ; and that ^us was 
widi hun such a tmiversal custom^ that 
the phrase ** for which I give thanks" 
iXttg^t be used as convenient and appro- 
priate phraseology to denote hie ovdk" 
nary food. The idea in the verse, then, 
is this : < By the fiivour of Qod, I have 
aright to partaker of this food. But if ' 
1 did, I should be evil spoken o^ and 
do injury. And it is unnecessary. Grod 
has made ample provision elsewhere 
for my support, for which I may be 
thankfoL I will not therefore expose 
.myself to calumny and reproach, or be 
the occasion of injunr to othens by pai^ 
tsking of the fyoA aaesed in sacrifice to 

31. Whether thenforei^e eat or drithk, 
TioB dyuwclioa shoidd be strictly and 
properly applied to the case in hand; 
that is, to the question about eating and 
drinking the things that had been oSBbp^ 
ed in sacrifiGe to idols. Still, however, 
it contains a general direction diat is 
■jppUcable to eating and drinking at all 
4i|nes ; and the pluase ** whataoii«ery« 

for that for which I gi^e thanks ? • 
31 Whether* therefore ye eat 
or drink, or whatsoever ye do, 
do sdl to t|ie glory of God. 

Boi».14j(». b dAJ^Vr. IPeClU. 

do" is evidently designed by the apoetia 
to make the direetien uaiverpal. ^ Or 
whatsoever ^^ do. In all the actioni 
and ptans of liftv whatever be yo« 
8<diemias^ yoor deairas, your dohigs, let 
aU b&dttne to the g^oiy of God. ^ Ih 
all to the gbry (f God. The phiwe 
'< the gloiy of GeiT' is equivalent to the 
Aoneor cf God ; and the direction is» 
that we should m act in all things aa 
to. i6enotir him as. our Lawgiver, our 
Gieator, our Redeeaer; and eo as t<^ 
lead others by our examfde to praise 
him and to vmbrace his gospeL A 
dald- a^ so as to honour a &thev 
when be alwajm dunishes reverential 
and proper IfaMigbts of him ; when hs 
is tbaakfol for bis ibvours; when he 
keeps, his laws; when he endeavowa 
t» advance his pfaas and his interests; 
and when he so acts as ^ lead all around 
him to cherish elevated opinions of tlis 
diaracter of a fiither. He diahonourt 
him when he has no respect to his 
authority; vidiea he breidis his laws;, 
when hs leads others to treat him with 
disrespect. la like manner, we liVo to 
the glory of God when we honour him 
in dU' the rbhlttollis wfaieh he sustains tot 
us; udien we keep lus laws ; when vfo 
psriake of has &vo«xs with thankful* 
nesB, sod ik^ a deep sense of our do* 
pendence; when we pray unto him; 
aad when ws so lilne as to lead those 
around us la cfisnsh elevated ooncep- 
tioiis of his g6edncs% and mercy, and 
halineiaa, Whatever plan or purpose 
will tend to sdvanoe hb kingdom, and 
to Baake ham better known and loved, 
w31 be to his s^ery. We may observe 
in regard to ttid% (1.) That the rule is 
tmicermL It esttesos to •every thing. 
If in so smdl matter s -ss eating and 
drinking we diottld seek to honour God» 
assursdty we should in all oth^ thinga. 
(«.) Ifis des^ned that this shotttt be 
the(Qsastanl nris ef condSMty^adtfaat 



[A. D. 59< 

32 Give * none offence, nei- 
ther to the Jews, nor to the 

1t(nn.l413. SGor.6.8. 

we ihoiild be often reminded of it. The 
aets of eating and drinking must b^ 
perfonned often ; and the command is 
attached to that which must often oocmv 
that we may be often reminded of it, 
and that we may be ]cept from forget- 
tfaig it (8.) It is intfflided that we 
ahould honour God in our ftmities and 
among our friends. We eat with them ; 
we share together the bounties <^ Prori- 
jtenoe; and God designs that we riiould 
honour him when we partake of his 
merdes, and that thus our daily enjoy- 
ments shouM be sanctified by a con- 
stant effort to glorify him. (4.) We 
should devote Sie strength which we 
derive from the bounties of his hand to 
his honour and in his service. He gives 
us food; he makes it nourishing; he 
invigontes our frame; and that strength 
should nof be devoted to purposes of 
Ad, and profligacy, and corruption. It 
Is an act of high dishonour to God, when 
Hx gives us strength, that wx should 
at once devote tibat strength to pollution 
and to sin. (S.) This rule is designed 
to be one of the chief directors of our 
lives. It is to .guide all our conduct, 
and to constitute a teat by which to try 
our actions. Whatever can be done to 
advance the honour of God is right; 
whatever cannot be done with that end 
is wrong. Whatever flan a man can 
form that will have this end is a good 
plan ; whatever cannot be made to have 
this tendency, and that cannot be com- 
menced, continued, and ended viitii a 
distinct and definite desire to promote 
his honour, is wrong, and should be 
forthwith abandoned. (6.^ What a 
diange would it make in the world if 
this rule were eveiywhere followed! 
How differentiy would even pit^essing 
Christiafis Hvet How many of their 
plans would tiiey be constrained at once 
to abandon ! \ And whata mighty revo- 
lution would it at once make on earth 
should all the actions of men begin to 
be. porformed to promote the glny of | 

*■ Gentiles, nor to the cburch of 

> Oreeka, 

God ! (7.) It may be added that sen- 
timento like that of the apostle were- 
found amoog the Jews, and even among 
heaflwtna. Thus Maimonides, as cited 
by Grotius, says, ** Let every thing be/ 
in the name cf Heaven," t. e, in the 
name of God. GapeUus cites several 
of the rabbinical writers who say^that 
all actions, even eating and drinking, 
should be done in the name of Gd* 
Seethe CrUid Sacri, Even the hea- 
then writers have something that resem- 
bles this. Thus Arrian (£p. i. 19) 
says, ** Looking unto God in all things 
small and great" Epietetus, too, oa 
bong asked how any one may eat so 
as to please God, answered, ** By eating 
justiy, temperately, and thankfriUy." 

3S. Give none offence. Be ino^ ' 
fensive ; that is, do not act so as to 
lead others into sbi. See Note, Bom. 
xiv. 13. ^ Neither to the Jewe, dec 
To no one, though they are the foes of 
God or strangeia to him. To the Jews 
be inofiensive, because they think that 
the least approach to idol worship is to 
be abhoned. Do not ao act as to lead 
them to think that you connive at or 
approve idol worship, and so as to pre^ 
, judioe them the more against the Chris- 
tian religion,, and lead them more and 
more to oppose it. In other words, do 
not attend tiie foaste in honour of idols. 
Y Nor to the GenHies, Gr. Greeks. 
To the pagans who are unconverted. 
They are attached to idol worship. 
They seek every way to justify them- 
selves in it. Bo not countenance them 
in it, and thus lead them into the sin 
of idolatry. ^ Nor to the church of 
God, To Christians. Many cf them 
ace weak. . They may not be as fully 
instructed as you are. Your example 
would lead them into sin. Abstain, 
therefore, from things which, though 
they are in themselves strictiy laivM, 
may yet be the occanon of leading 
others into sin, and endangenng their 




88 Even as I please all men 
in all things^ ndt aeddng mine 
own profit, but the profit of 
maii^, that ihey may be saved. 

89. Etfen as-I, &c. Paul here pro- 
poses his own example as their guide. 
The exaniple which he refers to is that 
which he had exhibited as described in 
this and the preceding chaptiers. His 
main olject had been to please all men ; 
t. e. not to alarm their prejudices, or 
needlessly to excite their opposition 
(see ^otjd on ch. ix. 19 — ^23), while 
he made known to them the truth, and 
flongfat their salvation. — ^It is well' when 
a minister can without ostentation ap- 
peal to fais own example, and urge 
othenr to a life of self-denial and holi- 
ness, by his own manner of living, and 
by what he is himself in his daily walk 
uid conversation. 

'The first verse m this chapter pro- 
perly belongs to the preceding, and is 
the conclusion of the discussion which 
the apostle had been carrying on in that 
and tiie previous chapters. It has been 
improperly separated from that chapter, 
and in reading should be read in con- 
nexion with itt The remainder of the 
diapter is properly divided into two 
parts: I. A discussion respecting the 
unpropriety of a woman's praying or 
prophesying with her head uncovered 
(ver. 3 — 16); and, II. A reproof of their 
irregularities in the observance of the 
Loid's sui^r. ver. 17—36. 

I. In regard to the firsts it lieems pro- 
bable that some of the women who, on 
pret^ce of being inspired, had prayed 
or prophesied in the Corinthian diurch, 
had cast off their veils after the manner 
of the heathen priestesses. This inde- 
cent and improper custom the apostle 
leproves. He observes, therefore, that 
the pre-eaunence belongs to man over 
the woman, even as preeminence be- 
longed to Chrbt over the man; tiiat it 
was fr dirikonour to Christ when a man 
prayed or ptoph^Bsied with his head 
eovmd, and in likie manner it was 
ngaided erranrwhere as dHhonoanM* 




E ye followers * of me, e?ett 
a» I alsoiim of Christ* 

a E|A.6.1# lTheM.1.6. 

and improper ibr « woman to lay 
the appropriate symbei of ^er sex, and' 
the emblem of subordination, and to br 
uncovered in the preseaoe of the man 
(ver. 3^ — 5^ ; that if a woman was not 
veiled, if she laid aside the appropriate 
emblem of her sex and <^ her suboidi^ / 
nate condition, she might as well part' 
with her hair, which all knew would be 
dishonourable and improper (ver, 6) i 
that the woman had been created for « 
subordinate station, and ^onld observe- 
it (ver. 7 — ^9); that she should have 
power on her head becaose of the 
angels (ver. 10) ; and yet, lest this 
should depre» her, and seem to convey 
the idea of her utter inferiority and nn*^ 
imp<»tance, he adds, that in the pim 
of salvation they are in many napeoli 
on an equality witii the man, that the 
same plan was adapted to both, tiwt 
the same blessings are appointed for 
both sexes, and the same high hopes 
are held out to both (ver. 11, 13) ; and 
that nature on this subject was a good 
instructor, and showed that ft was im^ 
comely for a woman to pny with bar 
head uncovered, that her hair had beep 
given her for an ornament and Ibr 
beauty, and that, ae it would he m in^ 
proper for her to remove her veil as to 
cut off her hair, nature itself required 
that this symbol of her subofdinatlni 
should not be laid aside in puUtic. ver* 

' IL Next, as to the irregidaritiM in 
the observance of theXoid's supper^ the 
apostle obterves (ver. 17), that he ooi^d 
not commend them ibr what he woe 
about to say. There had been and 
there were irregularities among thei% 
which it was Mi doty to lepvove. {n 
ver. 18U-S2, he states what those irre- 
gularities were. He than (vsr.,i)8-^36) 
states the true nature and deogn of the 
Lord's supper, as it was very evident 
tiiat tbey had not imdeistood it, but 
soppaead it was a eonoaon feasts sucli 


[A« D« 6B. 

2 Now I praise youy brethren, 
itmH * je remember me in all 
things and keep ^ the oidinan- 

a 6.4.17. b Loke 1.& 

MB M III I M BI II II. < 111 II ' .I.. — . — II. 

m Ibey ba4 been aoeustomed to obeerve 
fn hoBQor of idolf. In ver. 37 — ^29» he 
ikatM the oonaeqnenoes of observmg 
tliis mdinsnoe m an improper manner, 
«&d the proper way of approaching it ; 
and in ?er. 30--^, observes that their 
iaipraper mode of observing it was 
the canse of ttie punishment which 
awny of them had experienced. He 
Uien concludes by directing them to 
eeMvata the Lord's supper tqgdher/ 
l» eat at home v?hen they were hongry ; 
and not to abuse the Lord's -snpper by 
laaking it an occasion of feasting ; and 
MHRires them that the other matters of 
insgnlarily ho would set in ordei^ when 
he shoidd come among them. 

1, B^ yt fdhwtn of me. Imitate 
W0f example in the matter now under 
diflousaion. As I deny myself; as I 
seek to give no c^nce to any one ; as 
i endeavour not to alarm the prejudices 
of ot^TSy bat in all things to sedc their 
salmtion, so do yon. This venw be- 
kogs to tibe^previoos chapter^and should 
BOl have been s^arated finiin it. It is 
Ihecloseof the discussion there. \ Even 
at lake am of ChitL I make Christ 
my example. He is> my model in all 
things ; and if you follow him, and fol- 
low me as&r aslfi^ow him, you will 
not err. This Is the only safe example; 
and if we feUow dii»i we can never go 

2. Now IpraUe you, brethren, Paul 
fllw^rs diom to commend Christians 
when it could be dooe, and never 
•Mmed to suppose that such pnise 
would be injurions to them. Note, ch. 
1;^, 6« On this occasion he was the 
aKive ready to pruse them as fer as it 
asuld- be done, because there were some 
IfalDgr in regard to them in which he 
would faav» ooeadon to reprove them. 
V That ye remember meinaU thirige, 
l%at von are disposed to ragaxd my 
Mhority and seek my direction in all 
aiattem pertaiaiav to the good ofder of 

cea,^ as I delivered I^Wm fo ^u. 

8 But I would have yon know, 

that the head* ei -erety man m 

the church. There can be little donbt 
that they had consulted him in their 
letter (ch. viL 1) about the proper man^ 
ner in which a woman ouglk to demeaai 
henelf if she was called upon, undnr 
the influence of divine inspiration, ta 
utter any thing in public The quech 
tion seems to have been, whether, sinoa 
she was inspired, it was proper for her 
to retain the marks of her inferiority of 
rank, and remain covered; ot whethec 
the feet of her ioqpiration did not 
release her firom that obligatian» and 
make it proper that she shouki lay-< 
aside her veil, and ai^pear aa pD^tio 
speakers did among men. To tlUs the 
apostle refers, prot^bly, in the phrBse 
** all things,** that even in matters of 
this kind, pertaining to the good older 
ci the church, they were disposed to 
regard his audiority. 5 And ketp the 
ordinaneee. Margin, TVadiHont (rm^ 
me^w^ns). The word does not refer 
to any thing that had been delivered 
down from a former generation, or frpai 
former times, as the word tradition 
now usually signifies; but it meaoa 
that which had .been deUvered to them 
Ord^aJUm/M);le»bythetq!>oatks, The 
apostles had deUvered to them certain 
doctrines, or rules, respecting the good 
order and the government of the 
church; and they had in general 
observed "diem, and were dispowd still 
to do it. For this di^qposition to regard 
his authority, and to \usff what he had 
enjoined, he commends mem. He pro- 
ceeds to specify what woidd be proper 
in regard to the particular subfect on 
which they had made inquiiy. 

8. But luHfuld have you know. *l 
invito your attention particularly to the 
following conoderations, in (wder to 
fonn a correct opinion on this sidiject* 
Paul dees not at onee answer the in* 
quiry, and determine what ought to b^ 
dene; but he invito their attention to 
of lOH M nhn on theeuiyd^whiih 

A»D. 59.] 


Christ ; * and the head of the 
woman is the 'man ; * and the 
head of Christ is God. 

a GeB^.16. lPet.3.1,5)6. b Jna 1428. e.15.27^ 

led them to diaw the isondiwion wluch 
be wuhed to e«tabtiah. Tbe phraee 
4iere is designed to call the attention to 
the eubject, like that used so often in 
the New Testament, " he that hath eara 
to hear, let him hear." 1 Thai the heady 
Ace. The word htadt in the Scriptures, 
is designed often to denote mastery 
ruler, chief. The word VHi is often 
thus used in the Old Testament See 
Num. xvii. 3; xxv. 16. Deut. xxriii. 

' 13. 44. Judg. X. 18; zi.8. 11. 1 Sam. 
Tw, 17. 2. Sam. zxii. 44. In the New 
Testimient the word is used in the 
fense of Lord, ruler, chief, in £ph. i 
22 ; iv..l6 ; ▼. 23. Col. ii. 10. Here it 
means that Christ is the ruler, director, 
or Loid of the Christian man. This 
tnrth was to be regarded in all their 
fiielings and arrangements, and was 
never to be Ibrgotten. HYery Christian 
4iould recollect the relation in which 
he stands to him, as one that is fitted to 
produce the strictest decorum, and a 
steady; sense of subordination. ^ Of 
eoer^- man. Every Christian. All ac- 
knowledge Christ as their Ruler and 
Muter. They are sulj|ect to him ; and 
in all pvc^r ways recognise their sub- 
^nUnation to him. 1 And the head of 
the woman ia the man. The sense is, 
■he is subordinate to him; and inaU 
fbcnmstancea— 4n her demeanour, her 
dress, her conversation, in fublic and 
in the family circle — should recognise 
her subordination to him. The pai^ 
tiicular thing here referred to is, that if 
the woman is inspired, and spedu or 
prays In public, she should by no means 

' Uy aside the usual and proper symbols 
«f her sub<H:dination. The danger was, 
that those who were under the inflcb- 
enoe of inspiration would regard them- 
selves as freed from the necessity of 
recognising that, and would lay aside 
the veily tiaw usual and appropriate sym- 
M<of their occupying a raolc inferior to 
Ihe joaiii This was often done in the 

4 Erer^ laaa f»aying <ir |Hro- 
pheaying, having his head oowfit* 
ed, dishonoureth his head. 

temples of the heathen deities bf tha 
priestessee, and it would i^pear aisa 
that it had been done by CbristiaB 
females in the chuiwhes. % And tks 
head of Christ m God Christ»as)f#. 
difttor, has consented to assume a suh* 
ordinate rank, and to recognise God tka 
Father as supericHr in office. Hence ha 
was obedient in all things as a Soa^ 
he submitted to the aoangemant re* 
quired in redemptiim; he always reoeg* 
nised his subordinate rank as Madiaiaii 
and always regarded God as the saprsma 
Ruler, ev&i. in the matter of redemption* 
The sense is, that Christ, thpo«gho«| 
his entire work, regarded himsdf aa 
occupyipg a subordinate station to dia 
Father; and that it was yn^xpw fron 
his example to reoognise the propria^ 
of rank and station evorywhere. 

4. Even/ man praying or pnphn* 
sying. The word projAesying neit 
means, evidently, teaching / or puUio- 
ly speaking to the people on ^ subf 
ject of religion* See Note on Acta ii» 
17. See slso the subject eonsiderel 
more at length in the Notes on cb* mtt 
Whether these persons who are heat 
said to prophesy were all inspired, et 
claimed to be inspired, may admit of % 
question. The simple idea here is, ttMli 
diey spoke in the public assemblies, and 
professed to be the expounders of tha 
divine will. 1 Hamng his head covered* 
With a veil, or turban, or cap, or what" 
ever else is worn on the head. To re* 
move the hat, the turban^ or the coves- 
ing of the head, is a madu of rei^Mot $m 
a superior whm in his presence. ^ Dis* 
honoureth his head Does dishonour to 
Christ as his head <(ver. 2) ; that is, faa 
does not, in his presence and ia hk 
service, Observe the usutd and psifW 
custom by which a subordinate statm 

recogiused, and which indicaies tm 
qiect &r a superior. In the pressnas 
of a prince, or a noUeman, it woidd 
be aoQsidered as a OMik cif c&nespeet 


§ But every womftn * ^at 
prayeth or prophesieth with her 


>^— — ■ I ■ ' I .1 

ghoold the head be .ooTered. So in fhe 
pneence of Christ, in whose nsme he 
miiiislera, it is a maik of diiiprespeet if 
the head is oofeied. This illastration 
Is drawn from the customs of all times 
and eofemtries by which respect for a 
Miperior is indicated bj remoring the 
oorering from the head. This is one 
reason yAij a man should not cover 
his head in public worship. Another 
is given in ver. 7. Other interpreta- 
tions of the passage mi^ be seen in 
Bloomfield's Critical Digest. 
* 5. Bta every woman thai prayeth 
at prophesieth. In the Old Testament 
prof^ietesses are not nnfrequently men- 
tioned. Thus Miriam is mentioned 
(Et. XY. 20) ; Deborah (Jndg. iv. 4) ; 
Holdah (2 Eings xxii. 14) ; Noadiah 
(Neh.vLl4). So also in the New Tes- 
tament Anna is mentioned as a pro- 
phetess. Luke ii. 36. That there were 
females in the early Christisoi church 
who corresponded to those known 
among the Jews in some measure as 
endowed with the inspiration of the 
Holy Spirit, cannot be doubted. What 
was their pradse ofllce, and what was 
fhe nature of the public serrices in 
which they were engaged, is not how- 
ever known. That they prayed is dear; 
md that they publicly expounded the 
will of God is apparent also. See Note 
on Acts ii. 17. As the presumption is, 
however, that they were inspired, their 
exainple is no warrant now for females 
to take part in the public servioes of 
wondrip, unless they also give evidence 
that they are under the influence of 
insinratifHi, and the more especially as 
the apostle Paul has expressly forbidden 
their beconung pubHc teachers. 1 Tim. 
a. 12. If it is now plead, from this 
flKMsple, that women iSiould speak and 
flay in public, yet it should t« just so 
hat only ob this example goes, and it 
should be only when they have the qua- 
lifieations that* the early prophetesses 
had in the Chiistiaa diun^ If there 


head uncovered, dishoaoureth 
her head: for diat is even all 
one as if she were shaven. 

are any sudi ; if any are directly in- 
spired by God, there then vriil be an 
evident propriety that they should pub* 
lidy proclaim his will, and not till then. 
It may be frirther observed, however, 
that the fact that Paul here mentions 
the custom of women praying or speak- 
ing publicly in the church, does not 
prove that it was right or proper. His 
immediate object now was not to con- 
sider whether the practice was itctolf 
right, but to condemn the manner of 
its performance as a violation of all the 
proper rules of modesty and of suboidi* 
nation. On another occasion, in this 
very epistle, he fully condemns the 
practice in any form, and enjmns si* 
lence on the female niembers of the 
church in public ch. xiv. S4. ^ With 
her head unoouered. That is, viith the 
veil removed which she usually wore. 
It would seem fro&i this that the wo- 
men removed their veils, and wore their 
hair dishevelled, when they pretended 
to be under the influence cS divine in- 
spiration. This was the case with the 
heathen priestesses; and in so doing, 
the Christian women imitated them. 
On this account; if on no other, Paul 
declares Uie impropriety of this conduct 
It was, besides, a custom among ancient 
females, and one that was strictly en* 
joined by the traditional laws of the 
Jews, that a woman should not appear 
in public tinless she were veiled. See 
this proved by Lightfeot in loeo. 5 Di»* 
hanoureth her head. Shows a want of 
proper respect to man, — ^to her hosbandi 
to her fether, to the sex in geneiaL 
The veil is a token of modesty and of 
subordination. It is regarded among 
Jews, and everywhere, as an emblem 
of her sense of inferiority of rank and 
station. It is the customary mark of 
her sex, and that by which, die evinces 
her modesty and sense of subordinatioD. 
To remove that, is to remove ihe appro- 
priate mark of so^ subordination, tad 
is a public act by which she thss shows 

m— --*^ — - 





6 For if the wdmiaii be not 
covered, let he? also be shom : 
* but if it be a shame for a wo-* 
man to be shorn or shaven, let 
her be covered. 

a VivmJi. la Tknt&l.Vl. 

diflhonoor to the man. And as it 10 
proper thai the grades and ranks of life 
should he recognised in a saitable man- 
ner, so it is improper that,.even on pre- 
tence of religion, and of being engi^ed 
in <he eemce of God, these nuorks dbumld 
be laid aside. 1 For that is even aU 
one aa if she were ahaven* As if her 
iMig hear, which nature teaches her she 
shonU wear for a veil (ver. 15, mar- 
gm\ shoqld be cot o£ Long hair is, 
I9 the cnstom of the times, and of nearly 
^■ooontriesy a mark of the sex, an op- 
nament of the female, and judged to be 
beautifol and comely. To remove that 
is to appear, in this jespeet, like the 
odwr sex, and to lay aside the badge 
of her own. This, says Paul, all woi^ 
judge to be improper. You yonnelves 
woijdd not allow it. And yet to lay 
wide ^le veil-— the appropriate badge 
of the sex, and of her sMise of subordi- 
nBtion-«-would be an act of the same 
kind. It would indicate the same &el!- 
iBg, the same forgetf ulness of the proper 
sense of subordination : and if that is 
laid aside, al-l the usud indioations ef 
■Mdeslj and suboidination might be 
nmofved also. Not even under reli- 
gious pietenees, tiieiefore, are the usual 
marks of sex, and of propriety of place 
Mtd rank, to be laid aside. Due lespeet 
^ to be shown, in dress, and ipeech, 
«id deportment, to those whom God has 
ylseod above us; and neither in lan- 
KUage, in attire^ nor in habit aie we to 
S^Mrt from what aU judge to be proprio* 
tic« of hfii, or from what God has judged 
aad oidalned to be the proper indications 
«f the regular gradations in society. 

6. Fcrtftke woman he not eoiered, 
U faet head be not ooverad with a veiL 
5 Lei her gbo he ehom. Let hurleng 
Mr bo cut oC Let her k^ aside aU 
the usual and proper indiestions of her 
•ME and Mnk hi hfr. liiM'imdlbmm 

, 7 For a man indeed uj^ not 
to cover hia head, fora%iach am 
he is the image ^ and giery of 
God: but ih» woman is the 
glory of the man* 


' '■■■■ - — ,■ 

one respect, it may with the saaM ^f*> 
priety be done in alL See Note above. 
^Butif^bea^ame^Ae, IfoMwiy 
nature, and habit ; if the OHttBMi 
usual feelings and views amoi^ 
would pronounce this to be a 
the other would be pronounced to he a 
shame also by the same custom and 
common sense of men. 5 LU her h§ 
covered. With a v^. Let her weas 
the customary attire indicative of h|o« 
desty and a sense of subofdination. JjBt 
her not lay this aside even on any .paoi' 
tence of religion^ 

7. For a man indeed oughi n€i l» 
cover hiB head* That is, with a veil ; ev 
in public worship; vdien he appraac^Ma 
Gkid, or when in His name he addcessas 
his fellow men. Itaanotfiitandpiapev 
■that he should be covered. The reaaatt 
why it is not proper, the apostle imma» 
diately stales. 5 Forasmuch a$ ke 4e 
the image and glory ef €IkhL The 
phxase " the image of God" raleis to te 
fiict that man was made In the lihwH— 
of his Maker (€tea. L 87^ 9 and pro t a i 
that, though Men, there is a smiss ipi 
which he is stttl the image ef God. K 
is not because man is holy or pure^ ant 
thus resembles his Creator ; but it swi» 
dently is becahse he was invested bf 
his MakcK with au Aoiity and doarimatt) 
he was siqperior to all other creetMMft 
Gen. i 28. This is stiU retained ; and 
this the apostle evidently reirn to itt 
the paasage befine us, and this he. 8190 
should be recognised and mgaided» H 
ho wiM« a veii or turfaaa, it weald In a 
merit of servit9di6u>riBfetioRtgr. itwif 
therefore in^preper that he she«ld af^ 
pear in this manner; but he shoufal ha 
so clad as mat to obscure or hM*4h» 
great Qruth that M wssihedisest lapiu^ 
sentative ofQoi* jb the eatth^ andhiM 
snpeiiority toaMdtherereaitnrM. fJM 
f^^Qod. Tk»m9KAiglB9fmm 


[A. D. 59. 

8 For^he man is not of the wo-, 
man ; but the woman of the man ; 

9 Neither was the man cre- 
sted for the woman, but the 
wonaan for the man. 

10 For thk cause ought the 
woman ' to have power ^ on her 
head, because of the angels* 

gn that she is t 
band. Ge&.21.66. 

t i. e. a eov£ringf in 
sign that she is under the honour <^ hernut^ 

writen means, (1.) Opinion, 
Mnttmeat, dec ; (2.^ Fame, lepntation. 
Hdie it means, as it often does, splen- 
dour, brightness, or that which stands 
fivdi to rmetent God, or by which the 
gloiy of God is known. Man was cie- 
atsd first ; he had dominion given him ; 
by him, dierefore, the divine authority 
and wisdom fiist shone forth ; and thu 
fiiet should be recognised in the due 
•Bbordination of rank, and even in the 
apparel and attire which shall be worn. 
The impression of his rank and snpe- 
liori^ ahould be everywhere retained, 
f But the woman is the ghry of ike 
man- The honour, the ornament, dec. 
She was made for him ; she was made 
•fiiar he was ; she was taken from him, 
and was ** bone of his bone, and flesh 
of his flesh." AU her comeliness, love- 
liiMss, and purity are therefore an ex- 
prassion <^his honour and dimity, since 
all that comeliness and lovdnness vrere 
made of him and for him. This, theve- 
Iwe, ought to be acknowledged by a 
iMtafaie manner of attire ; and in his 
piesenoe this sense of her inferiority of 
lank aiid subordination should be ao- 
Imowledged by the customary use of 
the v«iL She dionld i^pear with the 
lymbol of modesty and subjection, 
whidi are implied by the head being 
eoveied. This sense is distinctly ez- 
pwMMud in the following verse. 

8. Far the mania not of thewoman. 
She man was not formed ^^tmi the wo- 
man, f But ike woman of the man. 
From his aide. Gen. it 18. 22, 23. 
.. 9. Neither wom the man creiated for 
the woman^ dec. This is a simile 
■tBtemenl of what is expressed in Ge- 
aesis. The woman was made for the 
esmfort and happiness of the man. Not 
M. he a slave, Mit a help-meet ; not to 
he the minister of his pleasures, but to 
he his aid and comforter in life ; not to 
ht mgsidBd as of inforior nature and 

rank, but to be his friend, to divide his 
sorrows, and to multiply and extend his 
joys ; yet- still to be in a station subor- 
dinate to him. He is to be the head; •' 
the ruler; the presider in the ftmUy 
circle ; and she was created to aid him 
in his duties, to comfort him in his 
afflictions, to partake with hun of his 
pleasures. Her rank is therefore ho- 
nourable, though it is subordinate. It' 
is, in some respects, the more honour- 
able because it is subordinate ; and af 
her happiness is depmdent on him, she 
has the higher claun to his protection 
and his^ tender care. The whole of 
Paul's idea here is, that her aitoatioo 
and rank as subordinate should be r^ 
cognised by her at^aU times, and thai 
in his presisnce it was proper that she 
should wear the usual symbol of mo> 
deety and subordination, the veil. 

10. Far this cause, dec There is 
scarcely any passage in the Soriptuies 
which has more exercised the ingenni^ 
of commentators than this verse. Tha 
various attempts which have been made 
to explain it may be seen in Pool, Bo- 
senmiiller,^ Bloomfield, dec After all 
the explanations Which have been gben 
of it, I confess, I do not understand it. 
It is not difficuh to see what the eon* 
nexion requires us to suppose ih the 
explanation. The obvious interpretap 
tion would be, that a woman should 
have a veil on her head because of the 
aagels who were supposed to be preseoly 
observing them in tiieir pubHc worship; 
and it is generally agreed that the woid 
pou)er (ifcvffUof) denotes a veil, oc a 
eovcring for the head. But the woid 
power does not occur in this sense n 
any classic vmter. Bretschneider un- 
derstands it of a veil, as being a defenoi 
or guard to the feoe, lest it should, be 
seen by others. Some have supposed 
that it was the name of a femak oma* 
neat thai was worn on the head, fonasd 


A. D. 59.3 



of braids of hsir set widi Jeweft* Moit 
eommentators agree that it means a veil, 
ihoagh scmie think (see Bioomfield) 
that it is called power to denote the veil 
which was worn by married women, 
which indicated the superiority of the 
married woman to the znaid^. But it 
is sufficient to say in reply to this, that 
the apostle is not referring to married 
women in contradistinction from those 
who are unmarried, but is showing that 
aU women who prophesy or pray in 
public should be veUed. There can, 
perhaps, be no doubt that the word 
" power" has reference to a veil, or to 
a covering for the head ; but why it is 
called power I confess I do not under- 
stand ; and most of the comments on 
the word are, in my view, egregious tri> 
fling. ^ Because of the angels. Some 
have explained this of gooa angels who 
were supposed to be present in their 
assemblies (see Doddridge); others refer 
it to evil angels ; and oSiers to messen- 
gers or spies who, it has been supposed, 
were present in their public assemblies, 
and who would report greatly to the 
disadvantage of the Christian assemblies 
If the women were seen to be unveiled. 
I do not know what it means ; and I 
regard it as one of the very few passages 
in the Bible whose meaning as yet iis 
wh6lly inexplicable. The most natural 
biterpretation seems to me to be this: 
'A woman in the public assemblies, 
and in speaking in the presence of men, 
diould wear a veil— the usual symbol 
of modesty and subordination — ^because 
the angels of God are witnesses of your 
public worship (Heb. i. 1 3), and becilise 
they know and appreciate the propriety 
of subordination and order in pubtic nth 
semblies.' According to this, it would 
mean that the simple reason would be 
that flie angels were witni^eses of their 
worship; and that they were the friends 
of propriety, due Bubor£nati6n, and 
Older ; and that tiiey ought to observe 
these in all assemblies convened for the 
wondiip of Qod« — ^I do not know that 
this sense has been proposed by any 
commentator ; but it is one wfaidi strikes 
me as the most obvious and natural, and 
ooDoiteiit with the contort Thefid- 

lowing renaiks lespeotiag ^ lad|o8 
of Persia may throw some lig|^t on. 
this subject : — ** The headdress of the 
women is simple: their hair is drawn 
behind the head, and divided into sov^ 
ral tresses: thebeaaty of tliisheaddreM 
coBsistft in the thickness and length of 
these tresses, which should &I1 even 
down to the heels, in defiiult of which» 
they lengthen them with tresses of stlib 
The ends of these tresses th^ decorate 
with pearls and jewels, or ornaments oi 
gold or silver. The head is covered^ 
under the veil or kerchief {course e&ef )» 
only by the end of a small bandeau^ 
shaped into a triangle: this bandeatif 
which is of various colours, is thin and 
Bght The bandalette is embroidered 
by the needle, or covered with jewellery, 
according to the quality of the wearer* 
This is, in my opinion, the Mident tiarOf 
or diadem, of the querais of Persia : only 
married women wear it ; and it is tfaiQ 
mark by which it ii known that they 
are under subjection (i^est la la marque 
a laqueUe on recormoit qu^eBes stmi 
sous PuissAircx — power),' The girls 
have little caps, instead of this kerd^ief 
or tiara; they wear no veil at faomo^ 
but let two tresses of their hair fell nn^ 
der their cheeks. The caps of giris of 
superior rank are tied with a row oC 
pearls. Girls are notriiut v^ in PenM 
till tiiey attain the age of six or seven 
years ; before that age they go out of 
the seraglio, sometimes witii their &thor, 
so that tiiey may then be seen. I have 
seen some wonderfuUy pretty. They 
show the neck and bosom ; and more 
beautiful cannot be aeen^^'^'^Chardin, 
** The wearing of a veil by a married 
woman was a token of lier being ander 
power. The Hebrew name of the veil 
mgnifies dependence. Great importance 
was attached to this part of the dress in 
the East. All the women of Persia an 
pleasa&tly apparelled. When they are 
abroad in the streets, all, both rich and 
poor, are covered with a great veil, or 
sheet of very fine white cloth, of whidi 
one hal^ like a finahead cloth, comes 
down to the eyes, and, going over tie 
head, reaches down to the heels; and the 
other half muffles up tho fitce below the 


[A. D. «9. 

tl Ndver&elesB, neither is 
the man without the woman, 
neither the woman without the 
man, in the Ix»rd, 

12 For as the womon is of 
the man, even so is the man 

efet, and being fiusitened With a pin to 
tke left aide of the head, falls down to 
their rery ahoea, even covering their 
handa, vnth whidi they hold that cloih 
by the nvo sidea, ao that, except the 
^ea, they are covered all over with it 
Within doors they have Uiczr fiicea and 
braailia uncovered;, but the Armenian 
women in their houses have always one 
half of their ftoea covered with a cloth, 
that goea athwart their noses, and hangs 
onx their diin and breasts, excqit the 
maids of that nation, who, within doors, 
eover only the chin until they are ma> 
lied." — TfuoenoL 

I U NevertkekiM, heat the man should 
•anime to lumsdf too much superiority, 
and lest he should r^ard the Woman as 
made aidely for hia pleasure, and should 
tveat her as in aH respects infwior, and 
withhold the respect that is due to her. 
The design ef this verse and the foUow- 
ing is to show, that the man and the 
woman aee unked in most tender inte- 
nests; tiiafc the one cannot live comfort- 
ibly without the other ; that <»ie is no- 
oessaiy to the happiness of the other; 
and that thoog^ the woman was foimed 
from the man, yet it is also to be remem- 
bexed that the man is descended fircHn 
the woman. . She should therefore be 
treated with proper respect, tenderness, 
and regard. ^ Ndtkeritthemtmwit^ 
mtt the toomon, dee. The man 9nd the 
woman were formed for union and soci- 
ety. They are not in any leepeet inde- 
pendaat of each other. One is Deoe»- 
oary to the comfort of the other ; and 
tiuaftetahoold be vecogmsed in all their 
i&tereouvse. ^ In the hufd. By the 
anoagements or dliectiea of the Lord. 
It ia ttie appointment and command of 
the Loid &at they ibould be mutual 
helpo^aad should eadi regaid and pro- 
iBota Ihe waifrn of the other. 

also hj the w^man: but all* 
things of Ood. 

13 Judg^e in yourselves : is it 
comely that a woman pray unto 
God uncovered ? 

14- Doth not even nature itself 

12. M the woman U of the man. 
In the original creation, she was form- 
ed from the man. \ SoiBthemanako 
hy the vooman. Is bom of the woman, 
or descended from her. The sexes are 
dependent on each other, and should 
therefore cultivate an indissoluble union. 
\ But ail things of God. All thing9^. 
were dreated and arranged by him. This 
expression seems designed to suppress 
any ^irit of complaint or dissatis&cticNi 
with this arrangement; to make the 
woman contented in her subordinate 
station, and to make the man humble 
by the consideration that it is all owing 
to the appointment of God. The woman 
should dierefore be contented, and the 
man should not assume any improper 
superiority, since the whole arrangement 
and appointment is of God. 

13. Ju4ge in yourBekee, Or, * Judge 
among yourselves.' I appeal to you. I 
appMl to your natural sen^ of what ia 
proper and right Paul had used vari- 
ous aiguments to show them the impro* 
priety of their females speaking unveiled 
ia puUic He now appeals to thdr 
natural sense of what was decent and 
right, according to established and ac* 
knowledged customs and habits, t ^ 
it eomeh^ dtc Is it decent, or becom* 
ing? The Grecian women, except their 
priestesses, were accustomed to appear 
in public wi& a veil — Doddrid^. Paul 
alludes to that established ami proper 
halNt, and asks whether it does not 
accord with their own vievra of pro* 
priety that women in Christian aasem- 
blies should also wear the same symbd 
of modesty. 

14. Doth not eoen nature itself. 
The word nature (j^vcif) denotes evi> 
deotly that sense of propriety which all 
men hava^ and which la expressed id 
any imvaitioit or univexaal custom. 

A.D. 59.} 



teach you, that if a maii have 

long hair, it is a shame unto him ? 

15 But if a woman have long 

That which is universal we say is 
ftocording to nature. It is such* as is 
draoanded by the natural sense of fit- 
ness among men. Thus we amy say 
titiat nature demands that the sexes 
should wear difl^rent kinds of dress ; 
that nature demands that the female 
^ould be modest and retiring; that 
nature demands that the toils of the 
chaae, of the fields of war — ^the duties 
of office, of government, and of profes* 
atonal life, should be discharged by 
men. Such are in general the customs 
the world over; and if any reason is 
asked for numerous habits that exist in 
iftKdety, no better answer can be given 
flum that nature, as arranged by Grod, 
has demanded it The word in this 
place, therefore, does not mean the oon- 
atitution of die sexes, as Locl^e, Whitby, 
and Pierce maintain; nor reason and 
experience, as Macknight supposes; 
nor simple use and custom, as Grotius, 
RosenmiUler, and most recent exposi^ 
tors siq>pose; but it refers to a deep 
internal sense of what is proper and 
right; a sensMwhich is expressed ex- 
tensively in all nations, showing what 
that sense is. No reaaon can be given. 
In the nature of things, why the woman 
should wear long hair and &e man not ; 
but the custom prevails extensively 
everywhere, and nature, in all nations, 
has prompted to the same course. 
*^ Use is second nature ;" but the usage 
in this case is not arbitrary, but is 
founded in an anterior universal sense 
of what IB proper and right A few, 
and only a few, have regarded it as 
eomely for a man to wear his hair 
kmg. Aristotle tells us, indeed (Rhet 
L — see Rosenmiiller), that among the 
Lacedemonians, freemen wore their hair 
long. In the time of Homer, also, the 
Greeks were called by him xa^tnufAiwrtg 
'Avctfo/, long-haired Greeks ; and some 
of me Asiatic nations adopted the same 
cnatouL But the gfitunX habit among 

hair, it is a glory to her : lor h&r.^ 
hair is given her for a ^ covex^' 

> or, veil. ' 

■ ' " ' ' I ■ . ■ M ■ ■ i ■ ■!■ ■'■■ 

men- has been different Among the 
Hebrews, it was regarded aa disgracefoi 
to a man to wear his hair long, except 
he had a vow as a Nazarite. Num. vi. 
1—- 6. Judg. xiii. 5 ; xvi. 17. 1 Sam. 
i. 11. Occasionally, for affectation or 
singularity, the hair was suffered to 
grow, as was the case with Absalom 
(2 Sam. xiv. 26) ; but the traditional 
law of the Jews on the subject was 
strict The same rtik existed among 
the Greeks; and it was regarded as 
disgraceful to wear long hair in the. 
time of JSlian. Hist. lib. ix. c. 14. 
£ustath. on H<nn. ii. v. ^ U is a 
ahame unto Mm, It is improper and 
disgraceful. It is doing tiiiat which 
almost universal custom has said apprcH 
priately belongs to the female sex. 

15. It is a glory unto her. It is an 
ornament, and adormng. The same 
instinctive promptings of nature which 
make it proper fox a man to wear short 
hair, make it proper that the woman 
shouki sui&r hers to grow long. ^ For 
a covering, Marg. VdL It is given to 
her as a sort of natural veil, and to 
indicate the propriety of her wearing a 
veiL It answered the purposes of a 
veil when it was suffered to grow long, 
and to spread over the shoulders and 
over parts of the fk», before the arts of 
dress were invented or needed. There 
may also be an allusion here to the 
hct that the hair of women natural^ 
grows longer than that of men. See 
RosenmiUler. The value which east* 
em females put on their long hair may 
be learned from the feet that when 
Ptolemy Buergetes, king of Egypt was 
about to mardi against Seleacus CaOi- 
nicus, his ^ueen Berenice vowed, as 
the most precious sacrifice which she 
could make, to cut off and consecrate, 
her hair if he returned in safety. ** The 
eastern ladies," says Harmer, << are ra» 
markable fer the length and the great 
number of the treasea of, tSem hm» 


[iu D. 69* 

16 Bat * if any man seem to 
be contentiotts, we have no such 
custom, neither the churches of 

a lTiin.6.4 

I II ■ - .1 M I - ■! iii.i il» II I I ■ m » ■ ■ 

The men there, on. the eontraiy, wear 
tery little hair an. their heads." Lady 
Kt. W. Montague thus speaks concern- 
ing the hair of the women: *' Their 
hidr hangs at full length behind, divided 
into tresses, braided with pearl or riband, 
whidi is always in great quantity. I 
never saw in my life so many fine heads 
tff hair. In one lady's I have counted 
cue hundred and ten of these tresses, 
afl natoial ; but it must be owned that 
etery kiitd of beauty is more common 
here than with us.'* The men there, 
en the contrary, shave all the hair off 
flieir heads, excepting one lock; and 
tikose th«t wear htdr are thought eil^Dii- 
nate. Both these particularB are men- 
tioned by Ghardin, who says they are 
agreeable to the custom of the East: 
''ihe men are shared ; the women nou- 
lish their hut with great fondness, 
which tiiey lengthen, by trusses and 
tolts of i^lk, down to &e heels. The 
yonng men who weir their hair In the 
East are looked upon as eSfenunate and 

16. But tf any man ietm to Be coi*- 
HnHoHB, Ine sense of this passage is 
probably this: *Ifanyman,anyteaidier, 
«r o^MffS, ia disposed to be strenuous 
aSKnit ihis, er to maiEe it a matter of 
dM&cnlty ; if he is disposed to call in 
question my leasoning, and to dispnte 
my premises and the considerations 
which I have advanced, and to main- 
tain still that it is proper Ibr women to 
appear unveiled in public, I would add 
Aat in Judea we have no such coeiom, 
neither does it prevail among any of 
tile chnrdies. This, therefore, would 
be a*sufficient reason why it should not 
be done in Corintii, even if the abstract 
reasoning should not oonvinoe them of 
the impropriety. It would be singular ; 
would be contnuy to the usual custom ; 
wofdd offend the prejudices of many; 
and shooMytharalbre^ be avoided.' ^We 

17 Now in this that I declare 
unto you I praise you not, that 
ye come togedier not Ibr the bet- 
ter, but for the worse. 

have no m$ch custom. We the apostles 
in the churches which we have else* 
where founded; or we have no sudi 
custom in Judea. The sense is, that 
it is contrary to custom there for women 
to appear in public unveiled. This 
custom, the apostle argues, ought to be 
aUowed to have some influence on the 
church of Corinth, even though they 
should not be convinced by his reason* 
ing. • Y Neither the diwitheB of God* 
The churches elsewhere. It is custom* 
aiy there for the woman to appear veiled' 
If at Corinth this custom is not observed, 
it will be a d^iartare from whst haa 
elsewhere been regarded as proper; and 
will (^nd these churches. £ven,thflt6« 
fore, if the reasoning is not sufficient to 
silence all cavils tmd doubts, yet the 
propriety of umformity in the iuiatB of 
the churches, the fear of giving ofifeooe 
tliould lead you to discountenance and 
disapprove ^e custom of your femaiee 
appearing in public without their veiL 

17: ^^^ t^ this that Ideelare, hs 
this that I am about to state to you ; to 
vrit, your conduct in regard to the Loid's 
supper. Why tiiis subject is introduced^ 
here is not very apparent. The eonnex«» 
ion may be thn. In the subjects inmie* 
diately preceding he had seen much to 
commend, and he vras desirous (tf com* 
mending them as for as it cocdd be done. 
In ver. 2 of this chapter he commends 
them in general for their regard to the 
ordinances which he had appointed 
when he was with them. But while 
he thus commended them, he takes 
occasion to observe that there was one 
subject on which he could not employ 
the language of approval or praise. Of 
their irregularities in regard te the 
Lord's supper he had pr^bly heaid 
by rumour, and as the subject was of 
great importance, and their irmgularitiiB 
gross and ^ploraUe, he takes oiccatd<»t 
to stale to tiiem again mosa fuifrr tii^ 




IS 9br first of all, when ye 
come together in the chttrch, I 
hear'tlukt there be diyiaiouft^ 

naUiro of that ovdinaiUGe, «ad to rapiovfl 
them for the n»nnex in which they 
had odebrated it 1 That ye come 
tggether. Yon aasemblo for pubtto 
worship. 1 Not for the better, but for 
the usoTH* Your meetings, and your 
observanee of the ordyinances of the 
gospel, do »ot promote your edification, 
your piety, spirituality, and harmony ; 
hut tend to division, alienation, and 
disoider. You «Aou/tf assemble to wor* 
ship God, and proinole harmony, love, 
and fiety ; the actual efleot of your as* 
aembling is ji^it the reverie. In what 
way this was done he states in the fol- 
lowing YexBea. These evil oonsequenoes 
were chiefly two,-^fiTBt, divisiona and 
eoQtentions; and, secondly, the abuse 
and profanation of the Lord's simper. 

18. ForfintofaH That is, I men- 
tion aa the first thing to be reproved. 
Y "Whenyt come together in the church, 
MThen you come together in a religious 
aasen^Iy ; when you convene for pub- 
iic wofsMp. The word ehurth here 
does not mean, as it frequently does 
with us, a huiliing. No instance of 
anch a use of the word occurs in the 
New Testament ; but it means when 
they came together as a Ghiietian as- 
aembly ; when they coavened for the 
worship of God. These divisions took 
plaee wen / and from some cause which 
It seems then operated to produce alien- 
aitions and strifes. 1 I hear, I have 
learned through some members of the 
fiunily of Ghloe. ch. i. 11. Y That 
there be diwSona among you» Greek, 
as in the margin, Schiems. The word 
properly means a rentf such as is made 
tn ck>th (Matt ix. 16. Mark iL 21), and 
than a division, a split, a faction among 
men. John vn. 43; ix. 16; z. 19. It does 
not mean here that they had proceeded 
fo fiur aa to form separate churches, but 
that there was diaeoid and divisiiMi in 
Ae church itssit See Notea on eh. L 

MBbMig you I aad. I partly be* 

lieve it» 

19 For there must* be aUio 

b MaU.ia7. 2FeU.l,2. 

!■■'■■■ " ■ ' t mm^mmmimmm* 

10, It. 1 And i partly b^ieee »iw' I 
credit a part of the reports ; I have rea^ 
son to think, that, though the evil xm 
haVe been exaggerated, yet that it m 
true at least in part I believe that 
there are dissensions in the church that 
should be reproved. 

19. For there must he. It is neceap 
sary (^u) ; it is to be expected ; there 
are reasons why there should be. What 
these reasons soe he states in the dosa 
of the ven^e. Comp. Matt xviii. 7» 
2Petiil,2. The meaning is, not tba^ 
divisions are inseparable from the nataaa 
of the Christian re%ton, not that it ia 
the design and wish of the Au&or of 
Christianity that they should exist» and 
not that they are physically impoaahl% 
for then they could not be the subject 
of blame; but that such is human naturob 
such are the corrupt passiona of men, 
the propensity to lunbition and strifei^ 
that they are to be expected, and they 
serve the purpose of showing who are^ 
end who are not,v^the true friends ef 
God* Y Herefiee. Margin, Seete* Gr. 
Atf j«wf. See Note, Acts xxiv. 14b 
The words heresy and heresies occur 
only in these places, and in Gat ▼, 20* 
2 Pet ii. 1. The Greek wonl occurs 
also in Acts v. 17 (translated sect) ; 
XV. 6 ; xxiv. 5; xxyL 6; xxviii. 22, in 
aU which places it denotes,^ and ia trana- 
lated, sect. We now attach to the word 
usually the idea of a lundamental error 
in religion, or some dodrine the hold: 
ing of which will exclude from aalva*- 
tion. But there id no evidence that 
the word is used in this signification in 
the New Testament The only <p]aea 
where it can be supposed to be ao.usiBd^ 
unless this is one, ia in GaL v. 20, 
where, however, the word eoniention* 
or dknsume would be quite as much in 
aecocdanoe vnth the eonoexion. That 
the word here doee not denote enror in 
deetrina, but achiaoi, diviMon, or eeetst 


[A. D. 59. 

^herMies among you, that "they 

t or, secU. a Luke 2.95. 

as it is translated in the margin, is evi- 
dent from two considerations. (1.) It 
hi the proper philological tneaning of 
the word, and its estaUic^ied and com- 
mon signification in the BiUe. (2.) It 
is the sense which the connexion here 
demands. The apostle had made no 
keferenee to error ci doctrine, but is dis- 
coursing solely of tm^v^Vy in eonr 
dud/ and the first thing which he 
mentions, is, that there were schisms, 
divisions, strifes. The idea that the 
Word here refers to doctrines would by 
no means suit the connexion, and 
Would indeed make nonsense. \ It would 
tiien read, ' I hear tiiat there are divi- 
sions or parties among you, and tibis I 
cannot commend you for. For it must 
be expected that there would be fun^ 
damental errors of doctrine m the 
ehurch.' But Paul did not reason in 
this manner. The sense is, 'There 
are divifflons among you. It is to be 
expected ; there are causes for it ; and 
it cannot be avoided tbat there should 
be, in the present state of human nature, 
divisions and sects formed in the 
church ; and thcs is to be expected in 
order that those who are true Christians 
should be sepamted firom those who 
are not' The foundation of this ne- 
cessity is not in the Ghnstien leKgion 
itself for that is pure, and contemplates 
and requires Union ; but the existence 
of sects, and denominations, and con- 
tentions may be traced to the foUowing 
causes. (I.) The love of power and 
popularity. Religion may be made 
the means of power; and they who 
have the control of the consciences of 
men, and of their rehgious feelings and 
opinions, can control them altogether. 
(2.^ Showing more respect to i* reli- 
gious teacher than to Christ See Notes 
on di. i. 12. (3.) The multipUcatton 
of testSj and. the enlai]gement of creeds 
and confesdons of feith. The eons&> 
^ence is, that every new doctrine that 
is incorporated into a creed give* occa- 
sion for those to separate who cannot 

wbiish are approved tnayBfe made 
manilbst among you. * 

accord with it (4.) The passions of 
men — ^their pride, and ambition, and 
bigotry, and unentig^tened zeal. Christ 
evidentiy meant that his church should 
be one ; and that all who were his true 
followers should be admitted to her 
communion, and acknowledged every- 
where as his own fiiends. And the 
time may yet come when this union 
shall be restcnred to his long distracted 
church, and that while there may be 
an honest difiEerence of opinion mai&> 
tained and allowed, still the bonds of 
Christian love shall secure union of 
heart in all who love the Lord Jesufl^ 
and union of effort in the grand enters 
prise in which all can unite— ^t of 
making war upon sin, And securing 
the eonvernon of the whofe world td 
God. ^ 7%at they tvhidi are tqtproved. 
That they who are approved of God, 
or who are his true firiends, and who 
are disposed to abide by his laws* 
^ May be made manifest. May be 
known ; recognised ; seen.r The eflkct 
of divisions and separatioBs would be 
to show who were Ihe firiends of order, 
and peace, and truth. It seems to have 
been assumed by Paul, that they who 
made divisions could not be regarded 
as the fiiends of order and truth ; or 
that their course could not be a|^roved 
by God. The efiect of these divisions 
would be to show who they were.' So 
in all divisions, and all splitting into 
fiictions, where the great truUis of 
Christianity are held, and where the 
corruption of the mass does not req[uirs 
separation, such divisions show who 
are the restless^ ambitious, and dis8ati»» 
fied spirits; who they are that aie^ 
indisposed to follow the things thai 
make fsxt peace, and the laws of Christ 
enjoining union; and who they aie 
vvho are gentle and peaceful, and dis- 
posed to pursue the way of truth, and 
love, and order, wiUiout contentions 
andstrifes. This is the effect of sdusmft 
in the ehurch; and the whde strain 
of the argument of Paul is to reprove 

A. D. 59.] 



20 A^ben ye come together 
therefore into one place, -* this 

i or, t/e eormoi eat. 

is not to eat the Lard's supper. 
- 21 For in eating, every one 

and condemn such schisms, and to hold 
Vfi the authors of them to reproof and 
condemnation. See Rom. xvi. 17, 
''Mark them which cause divisions, 
and AVOID th«m." 

20. When ye come together there- 
forefScc. When yoa are assembled 
as a jchurch. Comp. Heb. X, 25, and 
Note on Acts ii..l. Christians were 
constantly in, the habit of asaembling 
for public worship. It is probable that 
at this early period all the Christians 
in Corinth were accustomed to meet in 
the same place. The apostle here par- 
ticularly refers to their assembling to 
observe the ordinance of the Lord's 
sapper. At that early period it is pro- 
bable that this was done on every Lord's 
day. Y This is not, &c. Margin, '* Ye 
cannot eat." The meaning of this ex- 
pression jseems to be this. 'Though 
you come together professedly to wor- 
ship. God, and to partake of the Lord's 
sapper, yet this -cannot be the real de- 
sign which you have in view. It can- 
not be that such practices as are allowed 
among you can be a part of the cele- 
bration of that supper, or consistent Your greediness (ver. 21^; 
your intemperance (ver. 21); your 
partaking of the food separately and 
not in common cannot be a celebration 
of the Lord's supper. Whatever, there- 
fore, you may profess to be engaged in, 
yet really and truly you are not cele- 
brating the Lord's supper.' 5 '^^ 
Lord*8 supper. That which the Lord 
Jesus instituted to commemorate his 
death. It is called " the Lord's," be- 
cause it is his appointment, and is in 
h<mour of him ) it is called " supper" 
(/iimoy), because 'the word d^iotes the 
evening repast ; it was instituted in the 
evening ; and it is evidently most pro- 
per that it should be observed in the 
after part of the day. With most 
churches the time is improp^ly changed 
to the morning — a custom which has 
no sanction in the New Testament; 


and which is a departure from the very 
idea of a supper. 

21. For in eating. When you eat, * 
having professedly come together to 
observe this ordinance. In order tft 
understand this, it seems necessary to 
suppose that they had in some way 
made the Lord's supper either connected 
with a common ieast, or that they re* 
garded it as a mere common festival to 
be observed in a way similar to the fes- 
tivals among the Greeks. Many have 
supposed that this was done by making 
the observance of the supper follow a 
festival, or what were afterwards called 
love feasts (Ayjsreu — Agapae), Many 
h&ve supposed that that custom was 
derived firom the fact that the Saviour 
instituted the supper after a festival, a 
feas^ in which he had been engaged 
with his disciples, and that thence the 
early Christians derived the custom of 
observing such a festival, or common 
meal, before they celebrated the Lord's 
supper. But it may be observed, that 
the passover was not a mere prelimi* 
nary festival, or feast It had no re* 
seniblance*' to the so called love feasts. 
It was itself a religious ordinance ; a 
direct appointment of God ; and was • 
never Regarded as designed to be pre* 
Upi>inary to the observance of the Lord's 
supper, but was always understood as 
designed to be superseded by that. 
Besides, I know not that there lb the 
slightest evidence, as has been often 
supposed, that the observance of the 
Lord's supper vraa preced^id, in th# 
times of the apostles, by such a festival 
as a love feast. There is no evidence 
in the, passage before us; nor is any 
adduced from any other part of the- New 
Testament To my mind it seems 
altogether improbable that the disorders 
in Corinth would assume this form-— * 
that they would ^rs^ observe a common 
feast, and then the Lord's supper in 
the regular manner. The statement 
before us leads to the belief ihtft all was 



[A. D. 59: 

Uketh before other his own sup- 1 per : and one is hongijr, and 
a 2F)Bt2.i3. Jude 12. * another is drunken. 

irregular and improper; that they had 
entirely mistaken the natare of the ordi- 
nance, and had converted it into an 
occadon of ordinary feetxnty, and even 
intemperance; that they had come to 
Mgard it aa a feast in honour of the 
Saviour on some such principles as they 
observed feasts in honour of idols, and 
that they observed it in some such 
.manner; and that all that was sup- 
posed to make it urUike those festivals 
was, that it was in honour of Jesus 
rather than an idol, and was to be 
observed with some reference to his 
authority and name. 1 Every one 
taketh before other hia awn supper. 
That ii, each one is regardless of the 
wants of the others ; instead of making 
even a meal in common, and when all 
oould partfldLO together, each one ate by 
himself and ate that which hen^had 
himself brought They had not only 
erred, therefore, by misunderstanding 
altogether the nature of the Lord's, 
supper, and by supposing that it was a 
Common festival Uke those whieh they 
had been accustomed to celebrate ; but 
they had also entirely departed fi:om the 
idea that it was a festival to Bft partaken 
of in common, and at a common table. 
It had become a scene where every 
man ate by himself; and where the 
▼ery idea that dxere was any thing like 
a commcn celebration, or a celebration 
together, was abandoned. There is 
allusion here, doubtless, to what was a 
custom among the Greeks, that when 
a festival was celebrated, or a foast 
made, it was common for each person 
to provide, and carry a part of the 
things necessary for the entertainment 
These were usually placed in common, 
and were partaken of alike by all the 
company. Thus Xenophon (Mem. lib. 
iii. cap. ziv.) says of Socrates, that he 
was much od&ndedwith the Athenians 
for their conduct at their common sup- 
pers, where some prepared for them- 
selves in a delicate and sumptuous man- 
Mr, wlitte oth^vwere poorly provided 

for. Socrates endeavoured, he adds, to 
shame them out of this indecent custom 
by offering his provisions to aU the 
^company. \ And one ia hungry* Is 
deprived of food. It is all monopoliaed 
by others, f And another iadrunhenm 
The word here used (fjiidvu) means 
properly to become inebriated, or. in- 
toxicated ; and there is no reason for 
understanding it hean in any other 
sense. There can be no doubt that 
the apostle meant to say, that they ate 
and drank to excess; and that their 
professed celebration of the Lord's sup- 
per became a mere revel. Ix may seem 
remarkable that such scenes should 
ever have occurred in a Christian 
church, or that there could have been 
such an entire pervifeTsion of the natuie 
and design of die Lord's supper. But 
we are to remember the following things : 
(1.) These persons had reoen% been 
heaUiens, and were grossly ighonnt 
of the nature of true religion when the 
gospel was first preached among them. 
(2.) They had been accustomed to 
sudi revA in honour of idols under 
their former modes of worship, and it 
is the less surprising that they trans- 
ferred their views to ChristlBnity. 
(3.) When th^ had once so for mis- 
understood the nature of Ghristtanitf 
as to suppose the Lord's supper to bs 
like the feasts which they had formerly 
celebrated, all the rest followed as a 
matter of course. The festival would 
be observed in the same manner as the 
festtvals in honour of idolaters; and 
sfmilar scenes of gluttony and intem- 
perance would naturally foUow. (4.) We 
are to bear in mind, also, that they do 
not seem to have been fovoured with 
pious, wise, and prudent teachers. 
There were false teachers; and there 
were those who prided themselves on 
their wiENlom, and who were sei^confi- 
dent, and who doubtless endeavoured 
tonradel the Christian institutions ac- 
cording to their own views ; and tinej 
thus brought them, as for as they coul4 


ti "»•" 


A. D. 59.] 




22 What I hare ye not houses 
to eat and to drink in? or de- 
spise ye the ehureh of God, and 
idiame them that ^ have not? 

^ art poor 

to a conformity with pagan customs 
and idolatrous rites. We may remark 
here, (1.) We ace not to expect per- 
fection at once among a people recently 
conTerted from paganism. (2.) We 
■ee bow prone men are to abuse even 
the most holy rites of retigion, and 
hence how corrupt is human nature^ 
(8.) We see diat eyen Christians, re- 
cently converted, .need constant guid- 
ance and superintendence ; and that if 
left to themselves they soon, like others, 
lUl into gross and scandalous offences. 
22. What/ This whole verse is 
designed to convey the language of 
severe tebuke for th^. having so grossly 
perverted the design of the Lord's sup- 
per, t Have ye not houses, dec. Do 
you not know that the church of God 
is nolr designed to be a place of feast? 
ing and revelry; nor even a place 
where ■ to partake of your ordinary 
meals V Ciui> it be, that you will come 
to the places- of public worship^ and 
make them the scenes of feasting and 
riot? £vea on the supposition that 
there had been no d^rder ; no revelry ; 
DO intemperance ; yet on every account 
it was grossly irregular and disorderly 
to make the place of public worship a 
jl^ce for a festival entertainment ^ Or 
despise ye the ehureh of GotL The 
phrase ** church of God" Grotius under- 
stands of the place. But the word 
fkUtdi (vmMv^U) is believed not to be 
used in that sense in the New Testa- 
ment ; and it is not neceiteKiiy to spp- 
pose it here. The sense is, tiiat their 
aondnct was such as if they had held 
in contempt the whole church of God, 
in all places, with all their views of the 
sacredness and purity of the Lord's sup- 
per. Y And shame them that hmx 
not. Margin, Are poor. Something 
must here be understood in order to 
make out the sense. Probably it meant 
■amething like possessions^ property , 

What shall I say to you ? shall 
I praise you in this? I praise 
you not. 

23 For* I have received of 

a c.l5^. 

conveniences, accommodations. The 
connexion would make it most natural 
to understand <* houses to eat and drinki 
in ;*' and the sense then would be, * Do 
you thus expose to public shame those 
who have no accommodations at home ; 
who are destitute and poorl You 
thus reflect publicly upon their poverty 
and want, while you bring your own 
provisions, and fare sumptuously, and 
while those who are thus unable to 
provide for themselves are thus seen to 
be poor and needy.' It is hard enough, 
the idea is, to be poor, and to be desti- 
tute of a home. But it greatly aggra- 
vates the matter to be pubUdy treated 
in that manner ; to be exposed publicly 
to the contempt which such a situation 
implies. Their treatment of the poor 
in this manner would be a public ex- 
posing them to shame ; and the apostle 
regarded this as particularly dishonour- 
able, and espeoally in a Christiaa 
church, wl^ere all were professedly on 
an equality, f What shall I say to 
you? See*' How shall I sufficiently 
express my surprise at this, and my 
disapprobation at this course 1 It can^ 
not be possible that this is right It is 
not possible to conceal surprise and 
amazement that this custom exists, and 
is tilerated in a Christian church. 

23. For, dec. In order most effect- 
ually to check, the evils which existed, 
and to bring them to a proper mode of 
observing the Lord's supper, the apostle^ 
proceedft^to state distinctly and particu- 
larly its design. They had mistaken 
its nature. They supposed it might 
be a common festival. They had made 
it the occasion of great disorder. He 
therefore adverts to the solemn circum- 
stances in which it was instituted ; the « 
particular object which it had in view — 
the commemoration of the death of the 
Redeemer, and the purpose which it 
was designed to subioKve, whidh was 



[A. D. 69, 

the Lord that which also I 
delivered unto you, That the 
Lord Jesus, • the same night 
in which he was betrayed, took 
bread : 

a Mau.26.26. 

not that of a festival, but to keep before 
the church and the world a constant 
remembrance of the Lord Jesus until 
he should again return, ver. 36. By 
this means the apostte evidently hoped 
to recall them from their irregularities, 
and to bring them to a just mode of 
celebrating this holy ordinance. He 
did not, therefore, denounce them even 
for their irregularity and gross disorder; 
he did not use harsh; violent, vitupera- 
tive language, but he expected to eform 
the evil by a mild and tender statement 
of the truth, and by an appeal to their 
consciences as the followers of the 
Lord Jesus. ^ I have received of the 
Lord, This cannot refer to tradition, 
or mean that it had been communicated 
to him through the medium of the other 
apostles ; but the whole spirit and scope 
of the passage seems to mean that he 
had derived the knowledge of the insti- 
tution of the Lord's supper directly 
from the Lord himself. This might 
have been wiien on the road to Da- 
mascus, though that does not seem pro- 
bable, or it may have been among the 
numerous rcvdations which at various 
times had been made to him. Comp. 
2 Cor. xii. 7. The reason why he here 
says that he had received it directly 
from the Lord is, doubtless, that he 
might show them that it was of divine 
authority. 'The institution to which 
I refer is what I myself received an 
account of from personal and direct 
communication unth the Lord Jesus 
himself who appointed it. It is not, 
therefore, of human authority. It is 
not of my devising, but is of divine 
warrant, and is holy in its nature, and 
is to be observed in the exact manner 
prescribed by the Lord himself.' ^ 7%af 
which also I delivered, &c. Paul found- 
ed the church at Corinth ; and of course 
he first instituted the observance of the 

24 And when he had given 
thanks, he brake' it^ and said, 
Take, eat; this is my body, 
which is broken for you: this 
do in ^ remembrance of me. 

» or, for a. 

Lord's supper there. ^ The nigki 
in which he was betrayed. By Judas. 
See Matt. xxvi. 23—25. 48—50. Paul 
seems to have mentioned the fact that 
it was on the very night on which he 
was betrayed, in order to throw around 
It the idea of greater solemnity. He 
wished evidently to bring before thdr 
minds the deeply affecting circamstanoes 
of his death ; and thus to show them 
the utter impropriety of their celebrating 
the ordinance with riot and disorder 
The idea is, that in order to celebrate it 
in a proper manner, it was neediiil to 
throw themselves ai much as possible 
into the very drcumfitcmces in which 
it was instituted; asid one of these 
circumstances most ftne.t\ to afifect the 
mind deeply was the fact that he was 
betrayed by a professed friend and fol- 
lower. It is also, a circumstance the 
memory of which is eminently fitted to 
prepare the mind for a proper celebra- 
tion of the ordinance now. ^ Tooft 
bread. Evidently the bread which was 
used at the celebration of the pAschal 
supper. He took the bread which hap* 
pened to be before him — such as was 
commonly used. It was not a ytafer 
such as the papists now use ; but was 
the ordinary bread which was eaten on 
such occasions. See Note on Matt, 
xxvi. 26. 

24.- And when he had given thanks. 
See Note on Matt. xxvi. 26. Matthew 
reads it, " and blessed it." The words 
here used are, however, substantially 
the same as there ; and this fact shows 
that since this was communicated to 
Paul directly by the Saviour, and in a 
manner distinct from that 'by whidt 
Matthew learned the mode of ^e insti- 
tution, the Saviour designed that tlw 
exact form of the words should be vanA 
in its observance, and should thus be 
constantly home injmnd by his pe<^e. 

«■■ » ■»■■ p ■■ 

■>■ "^ ■ ' ■ 




25 After the same manner 
also he took the cup, when he 
had supped, saying, This is the 

t Take eat, dec. See Note od Matt. 
zrvL 26. 

' 25« After the same manner. In 
Hke manner; Skewise. With the same 
drcnmstances, and ceremonies, and 
designs. The purpose was the same, 
t When he had supped. That is, all 
this occurred after the observance of 
the usual paschal supper. It could 
not, therefore, be a part of it, nor could 
it have been designed to be a festival 
or feast merely. The apostle introduces 
this evidently in order to show them 
that it could not be^^as they seemed to 
have supposed, an occasion of feasting. 
It #88 after the supper, and was there- 
lore to be observed in a distinct man- 
ner. 5 '^yi^f ^^^ c^pt dbc See 
Note, Matt xxvL 27, 28. Y la the 
new testament. The new covenant 
which God is about to establish with 
men. The word il testament" with us 
properly denote a%t//— «n instrument 
by which a man disposes of his pro- 
perty after his death. This is also the 
proper classic meaning of the Greek 
wond here used, /i9ed'jwj»(eb'a/AeA»). But 
dds IS evidently not the sense in which 
the word is designed to be used in the 
New Testament The idea of a will 
or testament, strictly so called, is not 
that which die sacred writers intend to 
convey by the word. The idea is evi- 
dently that of a compact, agreement, 
coYBKAHT, to which there is so fre- 
quent reference in the Old Testament, 
and which is expressed by the word 
n^ia (Beriih\ a compact, a covenant 
Of that word the proper translation in 
Greek would have been 0vr9«iw, a co- 
venant, agreement But it ie remark- 
aUe that that word never is used by 
the LXX. to denote the covenant made 
between God and man. That transla- 
tion uniformly employs for this purpose 
the word iicMHM,a wilt, or a testament, 
as a translation of the Hebrew word, 
where there is a reference to the cove- 
nant which God is lepreaeDted as mak- 


new testament in my blood : this 
do ye» as oft as ye drink i/, in 
remembrance of me. 

ing with men. The word ^wdw* is 
used by them but three limes (Isa. 
zxviiL 15 ; xxx. 1. Dan. xi. 6), and in 
neither instance with any reference to 
the covenant which God is represented 
as making with man. The word /<«-' 
diMw, as the translation of nua (^Berith), 
occurs more than two hundred timea. 
(See Trommius*' Concord.) Now thia 
must have evidently been of design. 
What the reason was which induced 
them to adopt this can only be con* 
jectured. It may have been that as 
the translation was to be seen by the 
Grentiles as well as by the Jews (if it 
were not expressly made, as has been 
affirmed by Josephns and others, for 
the use of Ptolemy), they were un- 
willing to represent the eternal and 
infinite Jshoyah as entering into a 
compact, an agreement with his crea- 
ture man. They, therefore, adopted a 
word which would represent hini as 
expressing his unit to 4hem in a book 
of revelation. The version by the 
LXX. was evidently in use by the 
apostles, and by the Jews everywhere* 
The writers of the New Testament^ 
therefore, adopted the word as they 
found it; and spoke of the new dispell 
sation as a new testament which God 
made with man. The meaning is, that 
this, was the new compact or cove- 
nant which God was to make with 
man in contradistinction from that 
made through Moses. 5 ^^ ^y blood. 
Through my blood ; that is, thia new 
compact is to be sealed with my blood, 
in allusion to the ancient custom of 
sealing an agreement by a sacrifice. See 
Note, Matt xxvL 28. ^ Jfus do ye. 
Partake of this bread and wine ; that 
is, celebrate this ordinance. S -^ oft 
as ye drink it. Not prescribing any 
time; and not even specifying the fre- 
quency with which it was to be done ; 
but lf»ving it to themselves to deter- 
mine how often they would parteke of 
it The time of the Paswver had been 



r4 D.59. 

26 Fer as often as ye eat this 
bread, and drink this cup, ^ye 

1 or, afuw ye. a ReY.22.90. 

fixed by positive statute ; the more mild 
and gentle system of Christianity left 
it to the followers of the Redeemer 
themselves to determine how'ofien they 
would celebrate his death. It was com- 
manded them to do it ; it was presumed 
that theijp love to him would be so strong 
as to secure a frequent observance ; it 
was permitted to them, as in prayer, to 
eelebrate it on any occasion of affliction, 
trial, or deep interest when they would 
feel their need of it, and when they 
would suppose that its observance would 
be for' the edification of the church. 
1 In remembrance of me. , This ex- 
presses the whole design of the ordi- 
nance. It is a simple memorial, or re- 
membrancer; designed to recall in a 
striking and impressive manner the 
memory of the Redeemer. ^ It does this 
by a tender appeal to the senses — by 
the exhibition of the broken In-ead, and 
by the wine. The Saviour knew how 
prone men would be to forget him; 
and he, therefore, appointed this ordi- 
nance as a means by whidi his memory 
should be kept up in the world. The 
ordinance is rightly observed when it 
recalls the memoiy of the Saviour ; and 
when its observance is the means of 
producing a deep, and lively, and vivid 
impression on the mind, of his death for 
sin. This expression, at the institution 
of the supper, is used by Luke (cIl 
xxii. 19) ; thoughit does not occur in 
Matthew, Mark, or John. 

36. For eu often. Whenever you do 
this. ^ Ye eat this bread. This is a 
direct and positive refutation of the 
doctrine of the papists that the bread 
is changed into the real body of the 
L<Nrd Jesus. Here it is expressly called 
hread — thread still — bread after the con- 
secration. Before the Saviour insti- 
tuted the ordinance he took ^ bread''-^ 
it was bread then; it was <* bread'' 
which he ** blessed" and ** brake f and 
it was bread when it was given to 
tiiem; and it was bread wheh Paul 

do shew the Lord's t ^ith till he 

2T Wherefore, «vho8oe¥er 

here s^s they ate. Homt then can it 
be pretended that it is a^iy thing else 
but bread 1 ■ And what a j amazing and 
astonishing absurdity it is to believe 
that that bread is changed into the flesh 
and blood of Jesus Christ ! \^Ye do 
show the Lord'^ deathi. You set Jorth, 
or exhibit. in an impressive manner, 
the fact that he was put to death; 
you exhibit the emblems of his broken 
body and shed blood, and your belief 
of Uie fact that he died. — This shows 
that the ordinance was to beso &r pub' 
iltc as to be a proper showing forth of 
their belief in the death of the Saviour. 
It should be pyblic. It is one mode of 
professing attachment to the Redeemer ; 
and its public observance often has a 
most impressive effect on those who 
witness its observance. ^ Till he come. 
Till he return to judge the worid. 
This demonstrates, (1.) That it was 
the steady belief of iRe primitive church 
that the Lord Jesus would return to 
judge the worid ; and (2.) That it was 
designed that this ordinance should be 
perpetuated, and observed to the end 
of time. In every generation, there* 
fore, and in every place where there are 
Christians, it is to be observed, until 
the Son of God shall return ; and the 
necessity of its observance shall^ceaae 
only when the whole body of the re- 
deemed shall be permitted to see their 
Lord, and there shall be no need of 
those emblems to remind them of him, 
for all shall see him as he is. 

27. Wherefore (ZffTi). So that;V>r 
it follows from what has been said. If 
this be the origin and intention of the 
Lord's supper, then it follows that who- 
ever partakes of it in an improper man- 
ner is guilty of his body and blood. 
The design of Paul is to correct their 
im[»roper mode of observing this or- 
dinance; and having showed them the 
true nature and design of the institu- 
tion, he now states the consequences 
of partaking of it in an improper man- 





-• — — w^ 

- A.D.59. 



shall eat this br^ad, and drink 
this cup of the Lord, unworthi- 

ner. f ShaU^eat thU bread. See ver. 
26. Paul still calls it breads and shoWB 
Uiiifl that he was a stranger to the doc- 
trine that the btead was changed into 
the Teiy body of the Lord Jesus. Had 
the papal doctrine of transubstantiation 
been true, Paul could not h^ve called it 
bread. The Romanists do not believe 
that it is bread, nor would they call it 
such ; and this shows how needful it is 
foit them to keep the Scriptures from the 
people, and how impossible to express 
their dogmas in the language of the Bi- 
ble. Let Christians adhere t(^the simple 
language of the Bible, and there is no 
danger of their falling into the errors of 
thepaiMsts. ^ Unworthily. Perhaps (here 
is no expression in the Bible that has 
given more trouble to weak and feeble 
Christians than this. It is certain that 
there is no one that has operated to de- 
ter so. many from the communion ; or 
that is so often made use of as an ex- 
euse.fdr not making a profession of 
religion. The excuse is, 'I am un- 
worthy to partake of this holy ordi- 
nance. I shall only expose myself to 
conden^nation. I must therefore wait 
until I become more worthy, and better 
prepared to celebrate it' It is import- 
tat, therefore, that ^wre should be a 
oomect understanding of this passage. 
Most persons interpret it as if it were 
unworthy, and not unworthily, and 
■eem to suppose that it refers to their 
peroonal qualifications, to their unJUneas 
to partake of it, rather than to the 
manner in which it is done. It is to 
be remembered, therefore, that the word 
here used is an adoerb, and not an ad' 
jeeHne, and has reference to the manner 
of observing the ordinance, and not to 
their personal qualifications or fitness. 
It is true that in ourselves we are all 
unworthy of an approach to the table 
of Uie Lord ; unworthy to be regarded 
as his followers ; unworthy of a title to 
everlasting life: but it does not follow 
that we may not partake of this ordi- 
nance in a worUiy, t. e. a proper man^ 

I7, * shall be guilty of the body 
and blood of the Lord. 

a Jno.6.63,64. c.10.21. 

■ ' ' ■ ■' ■ I I »' , . m . - , I II 

ner, with a deep sense of our «qnfiiiF\ffff^ 
our need of a Saviour, and with some 
just views of the Lord' Jesus as our 
Redeemer. Whatever may be our coA- 
scionsness of personal unworthLaees 
and unfitness— and that oonsciousnesa 
cannot be too deep*-yet vre may have 
such love to Christ, and such a desire 
to be saved by him, and such a sente 
of hia worthiness, as to make it proper 
for us to approach and partake of 
this ordinance. The term unworthily^ 
(^fn^icte) means properly in an unwoT' , 
thy or improper xaititkb, in a man' 
ner unsuitable to ihe purposes fir 
whidh it toas designed or instituted i 
and may include me following things, 
viz. (1.) Such an irregular and inde- 
cent observance as existed in the 
church of Corinth, where even gluttony 
and intemperance prevailed under the 
professed design of celebrating the sup- 
per. (2.) An observance of the ordi- 
nance wnere there should be no dis* 
tinctton between it and common meals 
(Note on ver. 29) ; where they did not 
regard it as design^ to show forth the 
death of the Lord Jesus. It is evident 
that where such views prevailed, there 
could be no proper qualification for this 
observance ; and it is equally clear that 
such ignorance can hardly be supposed 
to prevail now in those lands which are 
illuminated by Christian truth. (3.) 
When it is done for the sake of mock*^ 
ery, and when the purpose is to deride 
religimi, and to show a marked eon« 
tempt for the ordinances of the gospel. 
It is a remarkable &ct that many infi^ 
dels have been so full of malignity and 
bitterness against ihe Christian^ religion 
as to observe a mock celebration of the 
Lord's supper. There is no profounder 
depth of depravity than this ; there is 
nothing that can more conclusively or 
painfully show the hostility of man to 
the gospel of God. It is & remarkable 
fiict, also, that not a few such peisoas 
have died a most miserable death. Un- 
der the horrors of an accusing cmi- 


■cmice, and the aiitici|M(lad deiCiny ok 
find damnation, they have left the 
world aa frightful monuments of the 
joitioe of God. It is also a hd that 
not a few infidels who have been en* 
gaged in such unholy celebrations hare 
beoi converted to that veiygoepel which 
IfaflT were thus turning into ridicule 
and scorn. Their consdenoes have 
been alarmed ; they have shuddered at 
the remembrance of the crime ; they 
have been overwhelmed with the con- 
■dousness of guilt, and have fi>und no 
peace until they have found it in that 
Uood whose shedding they were thus 
profanely celebrating. Y Shall be guiUy 
(<vo;^oc). This word properly means ob- 
noxious to punishment for personal 
crime. It always includes the idea of 
ill-desert, and of exposure to punishment 
on account of crime or ill-desert Matt 
V. 22. Comp. Ex. xxiL 8 ; xzxiv. 7. 
Num. xiv. 18 ; xxxv. 27. Lev. xx. 9. 
See also Deut xix. 10. Matt xxvL 66. 
^ Of the body and blood of the Lord, 
Commentators have not been agreed in 
regard to the meaning of this expres- 
sion. Doddridge renders it, ** Shall be 
counted guilty of profiuiing and a£Gront- 
ing. in some measure that which is in- 
tended to represent^he body and blood 
of the Lord." Grotius renders it, ** He 
does the same thing as if he should 
slay Christ" Bretschneider (Lex.) ren- 
den it, " Injuring by crime the body of 
the Lord.*' Locke renders it, ** ShaU be 
guilty of a misuse of the body and 
blood of the Lord ;" and supposes it 
means that they should be liable to the 
punishment due to one who made a 
wrong use of the sacramental body and 
Mood of Christ in the Lord's supper. 
SosenmUUer renders it, ** He shall be 
punished for such a deed as if he had 
aflected Christ himself with igno- 
miny." Bloomfield renders it, *'He 
■hall be guilty respecting the body, 
i. 0. guilty of profaning the symbols of 
the body and blood of Christ, and con- 
sequently shall be amenable to the 
punishment due to such an abuse of the 
highest means of grace." But it seems 
to me that this does not convey the 
fidneas of the meaniog of the pa ssa ge. 


[A^ D. 69 

The obvious «tnd literal sense is evi 
dently that they should by such con- 
duct be involved in (he sin of putting 
the Lord Jesus to death. The phrase 
<* the body and blood of tiie Lord," in 
this connexion, obviously, I think, re- 
fers to his death, — ^to the fiict that his 
body vras broken, and his blood shed, 
of which the bread and wine were syn>> 
hols ; and to be guiUy of that, means 
to be guilty of putting him to death ; 
that is, to be involved in the crime, or 
to do a thing which shoidd involve the 
same criminality as that To see this, 
we are to remember, (U) That the 
l»ead and wine were symbols or em- 
blems of that event, and designed to set 
it forth. <2.) To4reat with irreverence 
and profiuieness the bread which was 
an emblem of his broken body, was to 
treat with irreverence and proCanene« 
the body itself; and in like manner the 
wine, the symbol of his blood. (3.) 
Those, therefore, who treated^the sym* 
bdls of his body and blood with pro- 
feneness and contempt were united in 
spirit with those who put him to death. 
They evinced the same feelings towards 
the Lord Jesus that his murderers did. 
They treated him with scorn, profime- 
ness, and derision; and showed that 
with the same si»rit they would have 
joined in the act of murdering the Son 
of God. They would evince th^r hos- 
tility to the Saviour himself as &r as 
they could do, by showing contempt 
for the memorials of his body and 
blood. The apostle does by no meanti^ 
however, as I understand him, mean to 
say that any of the Corinthians had 
been thus guilty of his body and blood. 
He does not charge on them this mur- 
derous intention. But he states what 
is tbe feir and obvious constmetioa 
which is to be put on a wanton disre- 
spect for the Loid's supper. And the 
design is to guard them, and all others, 
against this sin. There can be no doubt 
that those who cdebrate his -death in 
mockery and derision are held guilty 
of his body and blood. They show 
that. they have the spirit of his muiw 
derers; they evince it in the most 
awful way possible; and they wha 

A.D. 59.] 



28 But l6t a man examine" 
himself, and so let him eat of 

a 2Gor.i3.S. lJno.3.20,2i. 

would thus j6in in a profane celebra- 
tion of the Lord's supper would have 
joined in the cry, " Crucify him, cru- 
cify him/' For it is a roost fearful and 
solemn act to trifle with sacred things ; 
and especially to hold up to derision 
and scorn, the bitter sorrows by which 
the Son of God accomplished the re- 
demption of the world. 

28. But let a man examihe himself. 
Let him search and see if he have the 
proper qualifications — if he has know- 
ledge to discern the Lord's body (Note, 
vet. 29) ; if he has true repentance 
for his sins; true faith in the Lord 
Jesus ; and a sincere desire to live the 
life of a Christian, and to be like the 
Son of Grod, and be saved by the merits 
of his blood. Let him examine him- 
self, and see whether he have the right 
feelings of a communicant, and can ap- 
proach the table in a proper manner. 
In regard to this we may observe, (1.) 
That this examination should include 
the great question about his personal 
piety, and about his partictdar and 
special fitness for this observance. It 
should go back into the great inquiry 
whether he has ever been born again ; 
and it should also have special reference 
to his immediate and direct preparation 
for the ordinance. He should not only 
be able to say in general that he is a 
Christian, but he should be able to say 
that he ha*s tfien a particular prepara- 
tion for it. He should be in a suitable 
frame of mind for it. He should have 
personal evidence that he is a penitent ; 
that he has true faith in the Lord Jesus ; 
that he is depending on him, and is 
desirous of being saved by him. (2.) 
This examination should be minute 
and particular. It should extend to 
the words, the thoughts, the feelings, 
-the conduct We should inquire whe- 
ther in our family and in our business ; 
whether among Christians, and with 
the world, we have lived the life of a 
Christian. We should examine our 
private thoughts; our habits of Secret 

that bread, and drink of that 

prayer, and of searching the Scriptures. 
Our examination should be directed to 
the inquiry whether we are gaining the 
victory over our easily besetting stna, 
and becoming more and more conform* 
ed to the Saviour. It should, in short, 
extend to all our Christian character ; 
and every thing which goes to make 
up or to mar that character should be 
the subject of faithful and h(xiest exa- 
mination. (3.) It should be done be- 
cause, (a) It is well to pituse occasion- 
ally in life, and take an account of our 
standing, in the sight oP God. Men 
make advances in business and in pro- 
perty only when they often examine 
their accounts, and know just how they 
stand, (b) Because the observance of 
the Lord's supper is a solemn act, and 
there will be fearful results if it is cele- 
brated in an improper manner, (c) Be- 
cause self-examiniition supposes seri- 
ousness and calmness, and prevents 
precipitation and rashness — states of 
mind entirely unfavourable to a proper 
observance of the Lord's supper, (d) 
Because by self-examination one may 
search out and remove those things 
that are offensive to God, and the sins 
which so easily beset us may l»e known 
and abandoned, (e) Because the ap- 
proach to the table of the Lord is a 
solemn approach to the Lord himself; 
is a solemn profession of attachment to 
him ; is an act of consecration to his 
service in the presence of angels and 
of men ; and ^lis should be done in a 
calm, deliberate and sincere manner^ 
such a manner as may be the result of 
a prayerful and honest self-examina- 
tion. 1 And 80 let him eat, &c And 
as the- result of such examination, or 
after such an examination ; that is, let 
the act of eating that bread be always 
preceded by a solemn self-examination. 
Bloomfield renders it, "and then," 
** then only." The sense is plain, that 
the communion sfaoald ahvays be pie- 
ceded by an honest and prayerful sel^- 



[A. D. 69. 

29 For he that eateth and 
driiiketh unworthily, eateth and 

29. For he thai eateth^ &c In. or- 
der to excite them to a deeper reverence 
for this ordinance, and to a more solemn 
mode of observing it, Paul in this vorse 
states another consequence of partaking 
<tf it in an improper and irreverent 
manner. Comp. ver.27. ^Eateth and 
dnhketh damnation. This is evidently 
a figurative expr«»ion, meaning that 
by eating and drinking improperly he 
incurs condemnation; which is here 
expressed by eating and drinking con- 
demnation itself. The woid (foi^iui- 
tion we now apply, in common lan- 
guage, exclusively to the future and 
final punishment of the wicked in helL 
But the word here used does not of 
n e c essi ty refer to that ; and according 
to our use of the word now, there is a 
harshness and severity in our transla- 
tion which the Greek does not require, 
and which probably was not convoyed 
by the word "damnation" when the 
translation was made. In the margin 
it is correctly rendered ''judgment'' 
The word here used (s^i/tue) properly de- 
notes Judgment / the result ojf judg- 
ing, that is, a sentence; then a sentence 
by which one is condemned, or con- 
demnation ; and then punishment Bee 
Bom. iii. 8. ; xiiL 2. It has evidently 
the sense of judgment here ; aiod means, 
that by theb imfNroper manner of ob- 
serving this ordinance, they would ex- 
pose ^emselves to the divine displea- 
sure, and to punishment And it 
rafers, I think, to the punishment or 
judgment which the apostle immedi- 
ately specifies, ver. 30. 32. • It means 
a manifestation of the divine displea- 
sure which might be evinced in this 
life ; and which, in the case of the Co- 
rinthians, was maniSssted in the judg- 
ments which God had brought upon 
them. It cannot be denied, however, 
that a profime and intentionally ineve- 
lenl manner of observing the Lord's 
■upper will meet. with the divine dis- 
pleasure in the eternal world, and ag- 
gravate the doom of those who are 

dnoketh ^ damnation to hinMelf, 

^judgment. Boin.13^ 


guilty of it But it is clear that this 
was not the pumshment which the 
apostle had here in his eye. This is 
apparent, (I.) Because the Corinthians 
dul eat unworthily, and yet the judg- 
ments inflicted on them were only tem- 
poral, that is, weakness, sickness, and 
temporal death (ver. 30) ; and, (2.) 
Because the reason assigned for these - 
judgments is, that they might not be 
condemned with the vncked; t..e. as 
the wicked are in belt- ver.- 32<^ 
Whitbi/, Comp. 1 Pet iv. 17. ^ Not 
diacemin^ the LonTs body. Not dis' 
erimiruUtng (/um itsuL^nm) between the 
bread which is used on this occasion 
and common and ordinary food. Not 
making the pioper difference and distinc- 
tion between &is and common meals. 
It is evident that this was the leading 
offence of the Corinthians (see Notes, 
ver. 20, 21), and this is the proper 
idea which the original conveys. Il 
does not refer to any intellectual or 
physical power to perceive that that 
breeid represented the body of the Lord ; 
not to any spiritual perception which 
it is often supposed that piety has to 
distinguish this; not to any view 
which £uth may be supposed to have 
to dascem the body of the Lord through 
the elements ; but to the fact that they 
did not distinguish or dieeriminatt 
between this and common meals. They 
did not regsrd it in a proper manner, 
but supposed it to be simply an historical 
commemoration of an event, such aa 
they were in the habit of observing in 
honour of an idol or a hero by a public 
celebration. They, therefore, are able 
to '* discern the Lord's body'' in the 
sense intended here, who with a serious 
mind regard it as an institution ap- 
pointed by the Lord Jesus to com- 
memorate his death ; and who distin- 
guiah thus between this and ordinary 
meals and all festivals and feasts de* 
signed to commemorate other events. 
In other words, who deem it to be de- 
signed to show forth the fact that his 




not discerning the Lord's body. 
30 For this cause many are 

body was broken for